Dodgers Spring Training Notes, Day 9

Feb 28, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; A detailed view of a Los Angeles Dodgers players bag during a workout at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

The ninth day at Camelback Ranch brought us a full day of workouts which including several pitchers, including Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, throwing live batting practice. It's not often you get to see Kershaw face Matt Kemp. Here are the notes from Wednesday:

Juan Uribe was back in Dodgers camp this morning after missing Monday and Tuesday while dealing with a civil case involving his former residence in San Francisco. Major league camp is at full strength now with 62 players.

If you are trying to guess the Dodgers' lineup this season, don't plan on catcher A.J. Ellis batting second. Don Mattingly said he hasn't given any thought to the notion of his catcher batting second. "He hits the ball the other way, he takes pitches. But he's not really a speed guy. You don't want him on in front of Matt Kemp, slowing him down," said Mattingly.

As if the $4.5 million guaranteed wasn't a big enough tip off, look for Juan Rivera to start the season as the every day left fielder. Mattingly said on Wednesday that the plan for left field was for Rivera to continue to do what he did last season (I'm guessing more the 46 RBI in 62 games than the .274/.333/.406 batting line as a Dodger), though Mattingly did say Rivera would get his days off, that he was not someone who would play 150 games. Mattingly did mention that Rivera could also occasionally play first base and that Tony Gwynn Jr. and Jerry Sands gave him other options in left field.

Of the new playoff format, in which two wild card teams in each league will reportedly play one game (the plan could be announced as early as Thursday, said Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports), Don Mattingly is a fan. "If it works out right, it forces two teams to use their best pitcher," Mattingly said. "It seems fair to me that the team with the best record gets an advantage by winning their division."

The Red Sox recently banned alcohol in their clubhouse in the wake of their fried chicken and beer controversy last season. Mattingly said the Dodgers current policy, which has been in effect since at least 2008, does not allow alcohol in the clubhouse at home, though on the road alcohol in the clubhouse is okay. Alcohol is allowed on team flights, except for flights home to Los Angeles. The concern, Mattingly said, is for players driving home.

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