Hmm, what to do, what to do?
I would love to tell you exactly what the right thing is for Manager
It's been done different ways, with different results over the seasons and there is no perfect road map, just general directions and common sense.
And there is plenty to consider, to do and think over twice.
Still, Mattingly and the Dodgers know what their priority is: have the healthiest team possible to start the postseason.
Yes, they would very much like to have the home-field advantage the first two rounds of the playoffs, but not if it means taking chances with someone’s injury. They still have the best road record (42-34) in the
Yes, they would like to finish the season strong and on a roll heading into the playoffs, but it's hardly required.
What the Dodgers do believe is, when they are healthy, they can beat anybody. On any night, anywhere.
It’s more important that shortstop
"I want to get these guys as healthy as they can [be] and keep them sharp. And if they can play and it's no risk and that's the best thing, we're going to play," Mattingly said. "But not at the risk of when medical says, 'Hey, Hanley's a little tight.' Well, I'm not going to go 'I'm going to use him anyway.' We're going to be more safe than sorry later."
This is the prudent approach. Each player warrants his own decision, but if they're rested and strong, it's better they play.
Which is why one day after sending out a weak spring-training lineup against the Padres on Friday, Mattingly was back to using the big boys. His Saturday lineup:
Ramirez has a bad back that affects his leg and will have to be handled carefully.