Eric Stephen | True Blue LA
Manager Don Mattingly said on Thursday that opening the season with Yasiel Puig on the roster could be a mistake given how few professional games the Cuban outfielder has under his belt.
Yasiel Puig isn't in the starting lineup as the Dodgers host the Cubs at Camelback Ranch on Thursday afternoon, but if history is any indication Puig will somehow find his way into the game in the later innings. Puig is the only Dodger to play in every day they have had a game scheduled, and has hit a robust .424/.412/.606 (14-for-33) so for in Cactus League play.
But don't expect him on the opening day roster.
"It's probably not the best thing for him. People probably don't want to hear that, but realistically it's not the best thing for him," said manager Don Mattingly. "I don't think our organization thinks it would be the best thing for a guy with as few at-bats as he's gotten."
Not that Mattingly isn't high on Puig.
"He's played well. He did a lot of good things. We see a lot of things that tells us that he's still young and needs to keep working. But like we say with a lot of guys, they tell you when they're ready. If he is ready, wherever he ends up, then he'll tear it up. If he doesn't, that tells you he's maybe not quite ready," Mattingly said. "We'll see over the course of the summer. If he's ready, then he's going to dominate down there."
- Javy Guerra, who reported tightness in his right groin on Sunday, returned to the mound with a bullpen session on Thursday.
- Chris Withrow faced live hitters on Thursday as he continues to recover from a back injury.
- Scott Elbert threw on Tuesday and Wednesday, the first time he has thrown on back-to-back days since his elbow surgery in January.
- Following Chris Capuano on the mound for the Dodgers on Thursday will be Kevin Gregg, Mark Lowe, Matt Guerrier, and Ronald Belisario.
- Scheduled to pitch after Chris Rusin for Chicago on Thursday are Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, Blake Parker, amd Zach Putnam.
Time: 1:05 p.m. PT
TV: none, but webcast on Dodgers.com
Radio: MLB.com (Cubs broadcast)