LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly insists shortstop Justin Sellers is not to blame for the club's lack of run production.
The Dodgers have scored 37 runs in their first 13 games, third to last in the National League and the fewest in the NL West.
Sellers is hitting .176 (6-for-34) with one homer over 11 games, and has reached base at a .263 clip. Of course, the Dodgers fancy Sellers for his glove, not his bat. That's why the club decided to go with him as their primary shortstop with Hanley Ramirez sidelined by a torn ligament in his right thumb.
"I'm comfortable with Sells, especially defensively, we've gotten what we wanted," Mattingly said before Tuesday's game against the Padres. "Offensively, I shouldn't say I expect him to hit a little bit more. It's kind of, in a sense, you get what you expect. I think he can get better. I think he can improve."
The Dodgers are hitting .268 as a team, fifth in the NL. There's been plenty of traffic on the bases, but few runs to show for it. Los Angeles is second to last in the NL with 34 RBIs.
The Dodgers are third in the NL with a .343 on-base percentage. That leads Mattingly to believe the runs will come, regardless of what Sellers does at the plate.
"I feel like he's done the job that we've asked him to do," Mattingly said. "Again, you can try to find every place that we haven't gotten offense from, but Sells is not the problem with our offense. Our problem, again, is basically just not getting guys in. It's not being able to get the runs on the board. It's not a matter of being able to get enough guys out there. We should be able to carry Sells offensively, and really we have, other than not getting the hits when we need them."