Torre just told us this morning, although he said Rafael Furcal would probably go back into the leadoff spot when he comes back, with Pierre dropping to second.
“(Pierre) has been that consistent guy for us every day, and he refuses to acknowledge any bumps or bruises, even though you know he has them,” Torre said. “He has been great. Juan is going to be our left fielder, and Andruw will be our center fielder.”
That means, of course, that Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp will compete for playing time in RF. Although Torre wouldn’t acknowledge that was part of the plan, it is apparent that those two benefitted from pushing each other early in the season. Ned Colletti is a big proponent in the value of having players compete, his thinking being that it brings out the best in the players doing the competing.
This morning’s other news is that Chan Ho Park is out of the rotation. It isn’t that Joe is backing off on his plan to go with a six-man rotation. It’s just that it won’t start until Brad Penny comes off the DL, probably on Saturday at San Francisco, when he is tentatively slated to pitch UNLESS he suffers some sort of setback in his simulated game on Tuesday at Houston. Yes, Chan Ho has had two really good starts in a row. But they weren’t going to go with seven starters, so somebody was going to have to go sometime, and Joe wants Chan Ho as a long reliever, a role he has been really good in all year.
Here’s today’s lineup