Now Commenting On:

{"event":["opening_day" ] }

Mattingly gives Cruz day off after difficult start to season

Mattingly gives Cruz day off after difficult start to season play video for Mattingly gives Cruz day off after difficult start to season

LOS ANGELES -- Luis Cruz was out of the Dodgers lineup Sunday for the first time this season as manager Don Mattingly hopes a day off will do some good for the hitless third baseman.

Cruz is 0-for-17 in five starts to open the year. He said he's been "jumpy" at the plate, but understands there is plenty of time to turn things around.

"It's early still. We still have a lot of games. I think I'm going to be fine," Cruz said. "I feel good, strong, I just need to get my timing down."

Juan Uribe made the start at third base in Sunday's series finale against the Pirates, and Mattingly said he believes Cruz simply needs to be a spectator for one game.

"There's always going to be a period of the season when you hit one of these spells. Luis is just having it right now right out of the gate, and then that kind of builds on you," Mattingly said before the game. "It kind of wears on you. Mentally, he needs to be able to put that behind him because you can't change anything that's happened in the first five games of the season. He needs a day to sit there and watch."

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["opening_day" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español