LOS ANGELES -- Dee Gordon was out of the Dodgers' starting lineup for Sunday's game with the Colorado Rockies, but he likely will be back Monday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks -- not just back in the lineup, but back in the leadoff spot.
No, manager Don Mattingly doesn't appear ready to remove Gordon from the top of the order, even though Gordon has hardly been setting any tables lately. Gordon enters Sunday hitless in his past 14 at-bats with five strikeouts.
"Dropping Dee in the order sounds very easy, but who else is going to hit there?'' Mattingly said, and before you could say Mark Ellis, Mattingly started explaining why you couldn't say Mark Ellis, or anyone else. "I don't really have another leadoff guy. I really don't want to move Mark Ellis around. When Tony Gwynn is in the lineup, I have a leadoff guy. Even Bobby Abreu could maybe hit leadoff, but then you don't have anybody back in the middle of the order.
"I have considered it, but as much as Dee is struggling, he kind of needs to be that guy. I know it's kind of a square peg into a round hole, but we have been able to sustain so far without Dee getting going or being the guy we saw late last year.''
Ellis, who normally bats second, began the day with a six-game hitting streak and a .385 on-base percentage -- Gordon's figure is .250 -- and Ellis also has enough speed that he wouldn't clog the bases, which is the concern that stops Mattingly from putting the A.J. Ellis and his .455 OBP into the top spot.
"(But) I try to keep guys as much as I can in a consistent spot,'' Mattingly said. "I like for guys to come to the ballpark knowing that is where they are at in the lineup. I like having it as static as possible.''
Here is today's lineup, which isn't exactly static, but that's due mostly to the Dodgers playing a day game after a night game and don't have an off-day for a while:
Tony Gwynn, LF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Andre Ethier, RF
James Loney, 1B
A.J. Ellis, C
Adam Kennedy, 3B
Justin Sellers, SS
Ted Lilly, LH