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Dodgers try Dee Gordon in leadoff spot, drop Carl Crawford to sixth

SportsBaseballCarl CrawfordDee GordonDon MattinglyHanley RamirezAndre Ethier

The Dodgers’ lineup figures to be in flux throughout the early season, but Manager Don Mattingly unveiled a new one before Friday night’s game against the Rockies.

This time it was Andre Ethier’s turn left to be out of the musical chairs for three outfield spots, but the more intriguing aspect was placing Dee Gordon in the leadoff spot and moving Carl Crawford down to sixth.

Mattingly claimed this is more a reflection on what an unexpectedly terrific start Gordon has gotten off to and less a result of Crawford’s early struggles.

Gordon, who is listed on the initial All-Star ballot at second, is batting .357, leads Major League Baseball with 12 stolen bases and has a .395 on-base percentage.

“He can cause havoc, especially if he continues to get on base like this,” Mattingly said.

Crawford is hitting just .222 without a home run, but Mattingly said he’s actually been swinging the bat well of late, just into hard outs.

This is the first time this season Crawford has not batted either first or second in the lineup. Crawford, by the way, was the Dodgers’ outfielder left off the All-Star ballot.

The Dodgers’ lineup of the night:

Gordon 2B, Yasiel Puig RF, Hanley Ramirez SS, Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Matt Kemp CF, Crawford LF, Juan Uribe 3B, Tim Federowicz C and Josh Beckett P.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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