There were still more conversations to have with players, or so he claimed prior to Saturday’s spring training finale against the Angels at Dodger Stadium. So no pregame announcements were coming.
Rookie Joc Pederson started in center for all three games against the Angels and Mattingly wasn’t even willing to acknowledge the obvious -- that he had won the job, which, of course, means Andre Ethier is out of a job.
“You can pretty much read between the lines and see what we’re doing,” Mattingly said. “But there are still conversations to have and the way we want to frame it may be different than you want to, so I want to make sure we’re having all the conversations first.”
Yeah, it takes a lot of reading between those lines to figure out Pederson has won the starting job in center field.
Mattingly’s hesitancy to announce the obvious no doubt means he has yet to have a conversation with Ethier, and wouldn’t you like to sit in on that meeting?
Ethier will be reduced to a left-handed pinch-hitter, which thrills him to no end. He made it clear in the off-season he wanted to start either here or with another team. Still owed $56 million over the next three years, he is proving difficult to impossible to trade.
Now he offers insurance should Pederson flop, or in case Carl Crawford or Yasiel Puig goes down with an injury. I mean, reading between the lines.