Mattingly plans to use the slumping Gordon in a bench role to try to help him clear his head. Gordon's average dipped to .200 after an 0-for-5 night Friday.
"Nothing has really changed in my thinking about Dee, or what I think he's going to become, or where he's going to end up," Mattingly said. It's just going fast. ... He's going to be a better player for this."
Mattingly was unclear as to when Gordon would return to the starting nine, but he indicated it likely won't be until after the Dodgers' three-game series next week in Arizona.
Gordon's role as the team's leadoff man has come into question given his .239 on-base percentage, and Mattingly said he isn't sure where he'll bat Gordon in his next start. Tony Gwynn Jr. hit first in Gordon's place Saturday against the Cardinals, and he has done so a few other times this season. Justin Sellers started at shortstop and batted eighth.
Mattingly watched video of Gordon's swing after Friday's game and saw no noticeable differences from last September, when Gordon's bat caught fire. He said that means Gordon's struggles seem almost entirely mental.