Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon: ‘I need a day off.’

Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon had been caught stealing in three of his previous seven stolen-base attempts coming into the weekend series against the Chicago Cubs. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)

The problem might have become obvious just before the Dodgers’ series against the Chicago Cubs.

Dee Gordon had been caught stealing in three of his previous seven attempts. That’s good for a lot of runners, not so much for the man who leads the major leagues with 51 steals. So Gordon gets a day off today against the Chicago Cubs.

“It wasn’t really planned,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “I was kind of trying to wait for a lefty. I just felt like he — you could tell — different coaches were coming to me, ‘Dee looks like he needs a day.’ Leg wise, things like that. So we wanted to make sure we took care of him.”

Mattingly said he doesn’t trust Gordon to come to him and report an injury. “He’s kind of probably a little bit nervous about saying he needs a day,” the manager said. So, he trusted the coaches.

Turns out the coaches were right.

“I need a day off,” Gordon said Sunday morning. “I just need to get my legs back under me.”

There’s no specific injury. Gordon has played 105 games this season and started 99, both second on the team to Adrian Gonzalez. Unlike Gonzalez, Gordon spent his last off-season playing Winter League baseball.

Nonetheless, Gordon says he can keep up his current pace over the final two months of the season. Maybe that’s one reason Mattingly doesn’t trust him to ask for a day off.

Justin Turner is starting at second base for the Dodgers today. It’s his first start at second base since April 23. You figure it will either give the club confidence in him to back up Gordon over the final two months, or give them a reason to recall Darwin Barney from Triple-A.

Gordon got some extra baserunning work in with Davey Lopes prior to this series against the Cubs. He stole three bases in three attempts in the first two games of the series. More on that in tomorrow’s editions.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.