Tough choices ahead for Mattingly

LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly will soon have some decisions to make.

The Los Angeles Dodgers manager has a star-studded outfield on paper but hasn't had to make many hard decisions when it comes to playing time and lineups with the amount of injuries the team has faced.

That is slowly changing after Matt Kemp's return to the lineup this week and Carl Crawford's possible return next week.

Crawford is scheduled to make a rehab start on Sunday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and is due back next Friday. So what will Mattingly do with Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Kemp and Crawford?

"I'll try to match up the best I can," Mattingly said. "Give guys a little bit of break now and then and do the best I can to try to put the best lineup out there. At this point it's going to be competitive. I don't think we can afford to be nice to everybody and give everybody equal playing time. It's not spring training and we're going to try to play the best lineup and try to match up a little bit."

Crawford suffered a left hamstring strain while legging out a double on July 1 at Colorado and was batting .301 with nine steals, five home runs and 13 RBI in 51 games.

Puig, however, has been a revelation since making his debut on June 3. Since that time, Puig leads the majors with a .424 batting average and 39 hits while leading the National League with a .459 on-base percentage.

"It depends on who's swinging the bat," Mattingly said. "At the this point Yasiel has basically said, 'Play me every day' without having to say anything he's getting a couple hits a day and doing something to help you win the game. As the season unfolds guys kind of write their own ticket from the standpoint of if they're doing well or not."

Here are lineups for Saturday's game, with the Dodgers trying to start a new winning streak:


1. Michael Young 3B

2. Chase Utley 2B

3. Jimmy Rollins SS

4. Domonic Brown LF

5. Delmon Young RF

6. John Mayberry Jr. 1B

7. Ben Revere CF

8. Carlos Ruiz C

9. Clifff Lee LHP


1. Mark Ellis 2B

2. Yasiel Puig RF

3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B

4. Hanley Ramirez SS

5. Matt Kemp CF

6. Scott Van Slyke LF

7. A.J. Ellis C

8. Juan Uribe 3B

9. Hyun-Jin Ryu LHP