Ethier's spot in lineup remains in flux

Ethier's spot in lineup remains in flux

Ethier's spot in lineup remains in flux
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With the first full-squad workout set for Tuesday, manager Don Mattingly on Monday said he's hoping to bat Andre Ethier fourth behind Matt Kemp, but he's not committing to it.

"I want 'Dre and Matt back to back; they are two dangerous guys," said Mattingly. "But 'Dre could be fourth, fifth or sixth depending on who's pitching. There are times 'Dre doesn't hit lefties as well. We'll put him in the order to protect him and protect Matt. I could see him second, fourth, fifth or sixth. But we'll go into the season looking for him to play every day."

Ethier, heading into his free-agent season, hit just .220 against left-handers last season with 41 strikeouts in 141 at-bats. Ethier, who hit .321 against right-handers, batted third almost exclusively last season, ahead of Kemp.

Mattingly said when Ethier isn't batting behind Kemp, Juan Rivera most likely will be. Rivera joined the Dodgers after the All-Star break and drove in 46 runs, mostly batting behind Kemp.

The rest of the projected batting order has Dee Gordon batting first, Mark Ellis second, James Loney and Juan Uribe sixth or seventh and A.J. Ellis eighth.