Despite being eligible to play while his suspension is being appealed and having strong numbers against the opposing pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley is not in the starting lineup for Monday's Game 3 against the New York Mets.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly tabbed Howie Kendrick to begin the game at second base over Utley. Kendrick will also be the leadoff batter.
"Howie's been swinging the bat good, and we feel like he gives us the best chance to win today," Mattingly said.
Mets manager Terry Collins said he had expected Utley to be in the Dodgers lineup.
"I'm a little surprised. But Donnie knows his team better than I," Collins said, "but I got the same stats he's got and I know he swings the bat pretty good against Matt Harvey. He has a knack of beating us, so let him sit over on the bench for eight innings."
Against Harvey, Utley has hit a career .333 (6-for-18); Kendrick is batting .167 (1-for-6) against him.
Collins said he addressed Utley possibly being in the lineup with Harvey and told him, "Play baseball." Collins said the Mets can't waste time thinking about retaliation.
Kendrick was 3-for-8 in the first two games of the series, while Utley went 1-for-2 in a pair of appearances as a pinch hitter.
Major League Baseball had suspended Utley for Games 3 and 4 of the National League Division Series for what the league deemed was an illegal slide Saturday into Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, who broke his leg in the collision and will miss the rest of the postseason.
Utley asked the players' union to appeal MLB's decision, and the hearing was not held Monday as the sides were still trying to agree to a schedule. Utley will continue to be eligible to play until the appeal is heard.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, the hearing is to start within 14 days of MLB receiving the appeal. Penalties are held in abeyance pending a decision.
ESPN staff writer Mark Saxon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.