DENVER -- Don Mattingly said Sunday he was not trying to distance himself from his players when he issued critical comments about their play on Wednesday.
"As the manager, you always have to take responsibility for your club, no doubt about it," the Dodgers manager said. "But what is going on this year is no different than what was going on last year. It's not like it's a brand-new thing. My job, and the coaches' jobs as leaders, is to stay positive but make adjustments.
"I definitely don't want to separate myself. The manager, at the end of the day, the wins and losses goes on the pitcher and manager's record. Guys need to be accountable, but it falls back on me. That's OK. There are a lot of quality guys in there, capable guys, and we'll go as far as they take us. The manager and coaches really don't have control. It's the players' game, I've always believed that, and we'll go as far as they take us."
Mattingly dismissed the suggestion that last year's turnaround was fueled by the arrival of Yasiel Puig and the return to the lineup Hanley Ramirez's hot bat.
"I think that's a little overplayed," he said. "We haven't been winning. There are expectations, the big payroll, L.A. It's all part of the deal. Our job is to get rolling, but nothing is not salvageable. I'm confident we can do that."
Asked if he felt the players still listen to him, he said: "You hope, right? Certain guys will listen, certain guys won't. I do know a majority of guys are wanting to win and have the same feeling. We all want that. I don't think that's a problem."
Puig, Gordon don't expect to be out long
DENVER -- The Dodgers received upbeat updates on hip injuries to Yasiel Puig and Dee Gordon on Sunday, with manager Don Mattingly saying he's confident neither will be out "long term."
Gordon, who experienced right hip tightness on Saturday, said he expects to play on Monday night in Cincinnati.
Puig, who suffered a left hip pointer strain on Saturday, might need a day or two longer, but Mattingly didn't rule out either player being available in some way off the bench on Sunday.
Gordon felt his discomfort waking up on Saturday after racing to two triples on Friday night. Puig was injured while sliding into second base trying to break up a double play on Saturday.
Mattingly said Andre Ethier had some lower back stiffness, but the main reason he didn't start on Sunday was because Colorado started lefty Jorge De La Rosa. And A.J. Ellis ran the bases and reported his sprained right ankle responded well.
Billingsley back to work at Rancho Cucamonga
DENVER -- Chad Billingsley resumed his rehab assignment on Sunday with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, pitching 1 2/3 shaky innings before reaching his 30-pitch limit.
Billingsley, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, had to restart a rehab that was shut down two months ago when he developed flexor tendinitis in his right arm.
Billingsley allowed one run on two hits and two walks, hit a batter and struck out two.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.