ATLANTA -- Dee Gordon returned to the Dodgers' lineup on Wednesday after his second day out of the starting lineup in the previous six games. Manager Don Mattingly wants to be cautious with Gordon, who leads the Majors with 51 stolen bases. Mattingly sees the toll Gordon's style of play has taken on the second baseman.
"I'm trying to keep him at 170 pounds, basically," Mattingly said. "I don't want him getting worn down and trying to have to get back up the hill. I'd rather have him kind of stay there and stay strong."
Mattingly also voiced the desire to give Gordon mental breaks. Given his status as a basestealing threat, Gordon commands a lot of attention and has to remain on edge more than most other Major Leaguers on the basepaths.
"A guy like Adrian [Gonzalez] gets on first and they're not throwing over there. Dee gets on first and he's got to, they throw over four times," Mattingly said. "With his focus, he never gets to turn it off and relax on the bases at all. I think, mentally, with him as much as anything, and he takes a beating just diving headfirst and everything else."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less