Manager Don Mattingly benched Andre Ethier for the Dodgers’ series finale at Miller Park on Wednesday, saying he did so because he wanted to field a lineup “that’s going to fight and compete the whole day.”

This will be the third time Ethier is out of the lineup on this six-game trip. The Dodgers are off on Thursday.

Asked if he was trying to send a message to Ethier, Mattingly replied, “We’re last place in the National League West. Last year, at this point, we’re playing a lineup that basically has nobody in it, that fights and competes and battles you every day for every inch of the field. We talk about it as an organization. We’ve got to find the club with talent that will fight and compete like the club that doesn’t have that talent. If there’s going to be a message sent, it’s going to be over a period of time.”

Mattingly wouldn’t say if Ethier is now a part-time player.

“For me, today, I’m putting out my lineup that I feel is going to be the most competitive and going to compete the hardest,” he said.

Asked if Ethier is no longer a player he automatically writes into the lineup every day, Mattingly said, “Well, he wasn’t today.”

Does Mattingly think Ethier won’t fight?

“I can’t really say that,” he said. “I don’t really want to say that, but we’ve got to compete.”

Asked if he was dissatisfied with Ethier’s toughness and mental approach, Mattingly said, “I want to put a club out there that I think for the long range that you can trust, that’s going to fight and compete the whole day.”

Has Mattingly not seen that from Ethier at times?

“Anything like that would need to be a conversation in-house,” he said.