Opportunities open up at second base

Opportunities open up at second base

Opportunities open up at second base
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' second-base situation was about as stable as could be before veteran Mark Ellis went to the disabled list following surgery on his left leg.

Now, it couldn't be more uncertain.

Elian Herrera made his second straight start at second base Sunday night against St. Louis, but that won't become the routine.

Instead, the Dodgers' options at second will likely be dictated by matchups, trends and hot streaks, manager Don Mattingly said Sunday.

To replace Ellis, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list, the Dodgers called up infielder Ivan DeJesus. He will likely see some time at second, as could Adam Kennedy, Justin Sellers and Jerry Hairston Jr. -- when he returns from the disabled list Wednesday.

Mattingly said he'd like to start his players based on opposing pitchers. But DeJesus and Herrera, who had three hits in Sunday's 6-5 victory, haven't spent much time in the big leagues and don't have the numbers to base those matchups on.

"It's hard to match up when Elian really hasn't been here, and Ivan really hasn't been here much, so there's not going to be much matchups," Mattingly said. "We'll just have to get a feel for how guys are swinging."

DeJesus arrived during Saturday night's game and said he's been told to expect time as a utility man at second, third and shortstop.

"I've just got to come here every day like I can work in every position," DeJesus said. "That's what they told me when they told me I was called up yesterday."

Mattingly has opted to give struggling shortstop Dee Gordon a bit of a break, and Sellers has assumed his job at least for the short term. That means Sellers likely won't see time at second base at least until Gordon's return.

Mattingly also said he plans to give Kennedy, as well as left fielder Bobby Abreu, some time off in the next week or so.

"We're going to have to bite the bullet in there and get those guys a day," Mattingly said. "They'll be out of the lineup, and that will dictate the lineup itself."

Ten days ago, the Dodgers signed veteran utility infielder Aaron Miles to a Minor League deal. But Mattingly said it's too soon to consider Miles an option, as he didn't have the luxury of Spring Training.