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Mattingly may bat Gordon ninth, pitcher eighth

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SYDNEY -- Manager Don Mattingly said he is considering batting speedster Dee Gordon ninth in the Dodgers' lineup instead of eighth in certain situations.

Mattingly has yet to name Gordon his starting second baseman, but all signs point to that. Mattingly previously has said he would prefer to bat Yasiel Puig in the leadoff spot to maximize his at-bats. When Puig led off this spring, Gordon batted eighth with the pitcher ninth.

But Mattingly said the staff has discussed the pros and cons of using Gordon ninth when the club starts an above-average hitting pitcher, like Zack Greinke. Gordon, who has demonstrated an improved swing this spring to go with nine steals in nine attempts, would be followed in the order by Puig instead of the pitcher.

Mattingly said the negative to batting Gordon ninth is concern with having the pitcher following the No. 7 hitter, who most likely would be his catcher, A.J. Ellis or Tim Federowicz.

"You have to think about protecting the seventh hitter," Mattingly said.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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