Puig out of lineup as Mattingly continues rotation
LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig's non-start Saturday against the D-backs is just part of the Dodgers' evolving four-outfielder rotation, manager Don Mattingly said before the game at Dodger Stadium.
Mattingly said Puig did not reinjure his left thumb in the 12th inning on Friday when he attempted to make a diving catch on a ball hit to short right field by Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt.
"I don't think anything happened on that play in extra innings," Mattingly said. "His thumb has been wrapped up after every game [since his injury on a headfirst slide into first on April 5]."
Puig, who's batting .235, missed three starts because of the thumb injury but started six of the next seven. He tied his career high with three walks Friday but also struck out three times.
Left fielder Carl Crawford (.234) and right fielder Andre Ethier (.212) returned to the lineup Saturday after not starting against D-backs lefty Wade Miley, with Matt Kemp (.179) starting again in center.
Asked about the slow starts by the four outfielders, Mattingly said he doesn't think it has anything to do with the rotation that remains a work in progress. Kemp, who got a late start, has 39 at-bats. The other three are in the 47-52 range.
"Everybody's pretty regular still," he said. "Andre and Carl have been out against four left-handers; Matt and Yasiel have been pretty regular, too. I just feel we're not swinging the bats as well as we can yet.
"Matt hit some balls hard last night. Carl's been been hitting balls hard right at people for the past week."