Mattingly happy with crowded outfield
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has a pretty good problem: finding playing time for four star outfielders.
With Matt Kemp on the mend, Mattingly will have to juggle starts for the two-time All-Star, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier.
Kemp missed 52 games over the last two months with an injured left ankle and was sidelined 79 games overall with various injuries. He had left shoulder and ankle surgery this fall, but Mattingly expects him to be ready for spring training — if he’s not traded.
Rumors abound this week at the winter meetings that the Dodgers are listening to offers for Kemp, who is heading into the third year an eight-year, $160 million contract.
“Healthy, I think, is reasonable. And productive is reasonable. I don’t know if, like I told those four guys last year, I know somebody is not going to be happy the days that they don’t play,” Mattingly said Tuesday.
“But also within that, we know that we found out if we can give Carl an extra day off here or there, he seems to be even better. We think Matt will probably need the same type of thing, where you’re getting a day here and there. Andre, the same, days here and there,” he said.
“Is that enough days where somebody is not happy? I’m not sure about that,” Mattingly added. But it’s a good problem to have for me.”
Also, Mattingly said right-hander Chad Billingsley should be ready for spring training after having elbow reconstruction surgery in late April.
“Bill is solid on continuing on the rehab process with the Tommy John. No setbacks whatsoever,” Mattingly said. I “kind of feel like he’s going to be one of the guys in spring training. I’m sure with some limitations, but this is a guy that’s going to be ready early in the season.”