Hernandez not ready to play outfield yet

Puig returns to workouts; Dodgers see progress for injured pitchers

February 26th, 2016

PHOENIX -- Dodgers utilityman Kiké Hernandez, who had offseason right shoulder surgery, said he won't play any outfield until full arm strength returns.

"I don't have any pain. I'm not 100 percent, but I'm close," said Hernandez, who has worked this week as the main backup at shortstop to rookie starter Corey Seager. "For now, just the infield. Maybe by the middle of the exhibition games I can play the outfield."

Last year, Hernandez played six defensive positions and started most often in center field, taking late-season playing time from a struggling Joc Pederson. He started three of the five postseason games against the Mets in center and once in left field.

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Hernandez said he considers shortstop his most natural position.

In other medical news, outfielder Yasiel Puig returned to baseball activities after missing a session Thursday because he was still feeling the effects of wisdom teeth surgery.

Alex Wood and Brandon Beachy were the first Dodgers pitchers to throw live batting practice on Friday, an indication both are fully healthy after battling injuries last year. Wood had an ankle bruise and Beachy was coming off his second Tommy John surgery.

And Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder surgery) showed continued improvement in his third bullpen session, adding changeups to the repertoire. He has yet to throw breaking balls.