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Anderson beats out Mientkiewicz for left-handed pinch-hitter; DeWitt all but locks up starting at second; Kuo won't be ready to start season

March 27, 2010 |  1:41 pm

Mientkiewicz_300 Blake DeWitt, the team’s leading hitter this spring, has apparently locked up the starting second baseman’s job.

Also, Garret Anderson has beaten out Doug Mientkiewicz for the team’s left-handed pinch-hitter spot. Mientkiewicz was told by manager Joe Torre on Friday that he would not make the team, and Saturday Mientkiewicz left camp.

"I had a talk with Doug Mientkiewicz yesterday and told him it doesn't look like he'll make the team with Anderson around," Torre said.

"I told him I'd love to have him around, but he'll take a day to think about his options. He was understanding of the decision, he likes being here but he wants to be in the big leagues."

Torre apparently offered Mientkiewicz an organizational coaching position, but the 35-year-old still wants to play.

Anderson was signed late, but has batted .360 and looked sharp. He can play the outfield, and is working some at first.

Mientkiewicz also played well this spring, batting .292. He made the team last spring but then tore up his shoulder two weeks into the season diving into second.

The former Gold Glove winner was still strong with the glove, but there remained concern about his throwing strength.

DeWitt, the converted third baseman who went up-and-down to the minors six times last season, leads the Dodgers this spring with a .372 batting average, a .628 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .471.

"DeWitt couldn't have done any more that is within his control," Torre said. "He's done everything he possibly could have done and come through with high marks."

Torre said he would make an official decision on second base within the next two days.

Reliever Hong-Chih Kuo will apparently start the season on the disabled list. Kuo continues to battle a sore elbow.

"Kuo is a question mark," Torre said. "He probably won't be ready for the season."

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Doug Mientkiewicz doubles against the Giants last April before requiring season-ending surgery for a separated shoulder. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times