SAN DIEGO – Andre Ethier took batting practice before Friday’s game, but his injured left ankle kept him on the bench for the seventh straight game.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly hopes to get Ethier some playing time over the final nine regular season games, but he will be prudent in doing so.
“I’d like to see Andre get at-bats again,” Mattingly said. “But not at the price of not being able to run all of a sudden.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the Dodgers regulars sat out Friday’s game against the Padres a day after they clinched the National League West Division.
Expect much of the same over the the final week of the regular season as Mattingly will get Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and others as much rest as possible leading up to the first round of the playoffs.
Even if it comes at the expense of home-field advantage in the National League playoffs.
“We feel like we can win anywhere. We feel like we can win on the road, but we want to be healthy,” Mattingly said. “But I would also like to be at home. I’d much rather be at home and have home-field advantage. But do I want home-field advantage and not have Hanley or Adrian and Hanley in the lineup? No. The priority is I want to try to get these guys as healthy as they can and keep them sharp. If they can play and it’s no risk and that’s the best thing, we’re going to play. We’re going to be more safe than sorry.”
Matt Kemp, though, could see ample time provided his hamstring holds up.
“We’d like to see Matt play most of these games, but not at the risk if his hammy is tight,” Mattingly said. “Matt is in a position that I’d like to see him play more to get more confident in his leg and ankle and get more at-bats.”