"The thing that's encouraging is that he hasn't been fighting himself. His at-bats are competitive," Mattingly said. "The results may not be coming out the way he wants. But that we haven't had [outbursts] tells me it's just a matter of time before he gets hits again. He can hit two bullets today and be off again."
After going 1-for-5 in Sunday's 8-2 win, including a grand slam for his first homer since May 21, Ethier finished the 10-game road trip 5-for-38, his average falling from .324 to .292.
"Obviously I'm concerned to the point where I want him to start to hit," Mattingly said. "But he's also been through enough to know that guys get hot and cold. It's been a little bit of a rough trip and he went into a funk. It's not like he's done. Just concerned enough to make sure he gets what he needs, like the other day a breather [as DH] to get his body to come back."
For Sunday's game, Mattingly had Ethier bat third, with Jerry Hairston coming off a five-RBI game behind him as cleanup.
"I'm always trying to get them to pitch to him and not pitch around him too much without Matt," Mattingly said. "Even if Matt's here, trying to get him pitches to hit."