Now Commenting On:

{"content":["spring_training" ] }

Torre yet to decide on starting outfield

Torre yet to decide on starting outfield

PHOENIX -- Managing back in the United States, Joe Torre on Thursday found that the Dodgers' outfield dilemma didn't get any easier to solve while he was in China.

"I'm not sure anything I do will be popular," Torre said.

With Andruw Jones the "anchor" in center field, Torre still has Juan Pierre, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp believing they are Major League starters, but only two positions for them to play.

"They've all shown enough to warrant playing every day," said Torre. "It's something I'll fiddle with and rotate. There's always the danger in doing that, as much as you get to keep everybody involved, you don't want to take away from someone who won't be as good when he doesn't get the at-bats."

Thursday's alignment had Ethier in left, Kemp in right and Pierre on the bench. Ethier went 2-for-4 and was robbed of extra bases by a Jerry Owens catch at the center-field fence. Kemp (1-for-4) slugged a three-run bomb to center field. Pierre entered the game as a pinch-hitter and went 0-for-1 with a walk.

Torre said he started Ethier because he wanted to see him bat against the left-handed Mark Buehrle, and he liked what he saw.

"In the first inning, he fought the ball off [for a soft single], the sign of a good hitter," said Torre. "He gets the most out of every at-bat."

Kemp stranded two runners in the first inning and pulled a pitch into a double-play grounder in the sixth, but launched his third homer of the spring off Octavio Dotel in the seventh.

"Matt's still learning," Torre said. "I thought the ball he hit was a sacrifice fly, but it didn't come down. He gives at-bats away sometimes trying to pull, but he saw on the double play to stay in the middle of the field."

Through Thursday's game, Pierre is batting .200, Kemp .304 and Ethier .352.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español