Left hamstring strain forces Puig to DL
'Dead arm' sidelines Peralta; Baker, Frias recalled to bolster pitching depth
SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers on Sunday placed All-Star outfielder Yasiel Puig and their leader in saves, righty Joel Peralta, on the 15-day disabled list, replacing them with Sunday's starting pitcher, Scott Baker, and swing man Carlos Frias.
Puig is sidelined by a strained left hamstring, while Peralta said he has a "dead arm," probably from a pinched nerve near his neck. Reliever Brandon League was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot for Baker.
Manager Don Mattingly said Puig could be ready to play in four to five days, but the injury has lingered for two weeks, and that's long enough. Mattingly said Andre Ethier will get the bulk of starts in right field, but not against tough left-handers like Tuesday night's opponent, Madison Bumgarner of the Giants.
"It's to the point where we want to get this thing right for the long haul, and in two weeks, [Puig will] be ready to play," Mattingly said. "Yasiel is disappointed. He thinks he'll be ready in four to five days. That's the tough part. We've seen that Yasiel plays at one speed. There's no real putting a governor on him. It's tough for him to say, 'Back off.' We'll protect him from himself."
Mattingly said the same approach is being taken with Peralta, who was acquired from Tampa Bay to be a vital part of the bullpen. But the 39-year-old reliever came to Spring Training with a sore right shoulder, was ready enough when the season started to quickly save three games in regular closer Kenley Jansen's absence, but he hasn't been right since awakening two weeks ago with a stiff neck.
"It seems to be lingering, and we want to get rid of it," Mattingly said. "We want to eliminate it and move forward. Same with Yasiel. We've messed around enough to say, 'We don't want to play around, play short out of the bullpen and off the bench.'"
The Dodgers are still short on the bench, having added two pitchers. Baker becomes their third No. 5 starter, while Frias can serve as a versatile reliever and even step in to make the next scheduled start for Brandon McCarthy, who will have an MRI exam on his injured right elbow on Monday and is likely to join Puig and Peralta on the DL.
Mattingly said Frias could make McCarthy's start "depending on what we need the rest of the week." Mattingly said Frias has "a rubber arm," like Juan Nicasio, and relief is the immediate concern.
"He bounces back really easily," Mattingly said of Frias. "It's like the more you use him, the better he gets."