LOS ANGELES -- Carl Crawford was listed sixth in Friday night's batting order, the first time this season he's been lower than second, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly insisted it's no demotion.
"I feel like Carl is swinging the bat really well. He's hit balls on the nose and not got a lot for it," Mattingly said of Crawford, who has a .222 average and .548 OPS. "We feel we can use him with a chance to drive in runs."
In Mattingly's daily outfield roulette, Crawford played left field, Matt Kemp was in center, batting fifth, and Yasiel Puig in right, batting second.
Mattingly agreed that by putting Crawford behind Kemp, it allows him to keep the speedy Dee Gordon leading off, with Puig protected by Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez. When Crawford has hit second, either Puig or Gordon gets dropped. Now, Mattingly can have some stability through the top half of the batting order.
"Leadoff is the place where Dee is freest," said Mattingly, who indicated Gordon would remain there against most pitchers, if he continues to hit.
Wilson not yet 'in sync' with irregular usage
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson said he's healthy, with no recurrence of the elbow discomfort that put him on the disabled list at the end of last month.
"Yeah, everything's good," he said of the elbow that has been reconstructed twice with Tommy John surgery, and experienced ulnar nerve irritation this year.
Instead, he said, his losing outing Thursday night, when he allowed four runs in one-third of an inning, was the result of irregular usage and "the need for more repetitions to get locked in."
"I know it will work itself out. I can't focus on when I pitch or don't pitch," said Wilson, who has been eased back into action, without appearances in back-to-back games, since he was activated April 15.
"I need to get to the point where everything is in sync. I know what I'm capable of doing when everything's in sync. I just need to get there."
When Wilson was disabled, it was as much to rebuild arm strength after rushing through a short Spring Training than an injury. His time on the DL included a brief Minor League rehab assignment.
"My arm feels pretty strong," he said.
Wilson has pitched four times since being activated, being scored upon in two of them. He has a 15.75 ERA, compared to a career ERA of 3.10 coming into the season.
Mattingly said he would probably use other pitchers for the eighth inning while Wilson works back into form. Chris Perez and Chris Withrow are the obvious candidates.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.