Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Monday he does not intend to return Gordon to the lineup when he rejoins the club when rosters expand next month. Gordon is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque as he completes recovery from surgery for a torn thumb ligament.
At the time of the injury, Gordon was the team's starting shortstop and leadoff hitter. Since then, Hanley Ramirez has been added and is playing shortstop, while Shane Victorino is the leadoff hitter. And Luis Cruz has surprisingly won a starting job as the third baseman.
"Right now, I'm not messing around," Mattingly said of the lineup. "The guys are swinging good. I think I'll leave Hanley there for now. Cruz has been good. So, I don't want to mess with what we're doing now, and want to see how Dee is going to be."
Gordon was given the dual role of leadoff man/shortstop last year when Rafael Furcal was traded. But the major roster changes fueled by new ownership have dramatically changed the club's philosophy. Mattingly originally planned on moving Ramirez back to third base when Gordon was healthy, but that was before Cruz turned into a clutch, run-producing .301 hitter entering Monday.
Rivera is the other player who will lose playing time. He had become nearly an everyday player between time in left field and at first base, but with Victorino in left and Adrian Gonzalez at first, Rivera is back to the bench.
"I don't think I have to explain anything to him," Mattingly said. "Juan's been around long enough. I've got a good feeling he's got a good idea what's going on."