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Don Mattingly weighs in on Matt Harvey controversy (a little)

SAN DIEGO -- Like practically everybody else in baseball on Saturday, Los Angeles Dodgers' Don Mattingly got dragged into the debate about what the New York Mets should do with pitcher Matt Harvey as he approaches what his agent thinks should be his innings limit.

Mattingly didn't want to weigh in much, citing his 14-year history of avoiding back-page headlines in the New York newspapers when he played for the New York Yankees.

He did, however, admit he has been paying attention to it. How could he not? It looks like the Los Angeles Dodgers will play Harvey's team in the first round of the playoffs and it's a more winnable series, presumably, if Harvey doesn't pitch.

"It's interesting from the standpoint of an agent telling you what you should do with a guy," Mattingly said. "I haven't heard him say anything yet, but from the team standpoint, you would think they would have talked about this at some point earlier."

The Dodgers aren't planning to shut down any of their own starting pitchers, but they will try to get them extra rest in advance of the postseason. Mattingly said the six-man rotation was just a one-time thing -- he hasn't picked a starter for Wednesday's game between Mat Latos and Mike Bolsinger yet -- but said the plan is to use the two off-days remaining to give Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and the other starters an extra day.

That is one of the advantages of a 7 1/2-game division lead.

One pitcher who could probably benefit from a little extra rest is Brett Anderson, who -- because he has had so many injuries in his career -- is only 23 innings short of his career high for innings pitched in a season. But Mattingly said Anderson has been as healthy as any of the team's pitchers all year. The pitcher concurred. He said he has remained healthy in part because of the support he has received from the Dodgers' trainers and strength and conditioning people.

"It takes a while to get this body going," Anderson joked. "I have to get here a little bit earlier than most guys and do my core stuff and back stuff. It's not fun, but it's one of those necessary evils. I'd rather not have to do it, but it's the cards I was dealt with."