Eric Stephen | True Blue LA
The Cuban outfielder is now hitting .521, the $147 man may not have to be placed on the disabled list after all, plus some news on a pair of injured shortstops.
The Dodgers fell to the Royals 7-2 on Wednesday in Surprise, but the story continues to be Yasiel Puig. The 22-year-old Cuban outfielder tripled, singled and hit a sacrifice fly in his three plate appearances on Wednesday, and is hitting a cool .521/.500/.854 in the Cactus League.
That's 25 hits in 48 at-bats.
Wade Davis walked four but he allowed no hits in 12 at-bats to the Dodgers not named Puig on Wednesday, while Puig was 2-for-2 against him.
"He was facing a good big league pitcher today in Wade Davis and he continues to look good," manager Don Mattingly said. "Again we just keep building up expectations. If he doesn't hit .500 now, he's terrible."
Puig is on the travel roster to Tucson on Thursday, while shortstop Dee Gordon is not. Gordon was originally slated to make the trip but a left ankle sprain changed those plans. But the move was more precautionary than anything, and Gordon participated in workouts on Wednesday morning.
"He was doing all of our bunt plays. It wasn't like we had him off to the side watching. He was doing everything," Mattingly said. "He doesn't go to Tucson, but he'll be ready to go Friday."
In other ailing Dodgers shortstop news, Mattingly said the MRI exam for Hanley Ramirez will scheduled for 7 p.m. in Phoenix on Wednesday night, so it's unlikely we will get results on the severity of his thumb injury until Thursday.
While Matingly and the Dodgers were in Surprise, Zack Greinke and A.J. Ellis were back at Camelback Ranch in a minor league game. Greinke threw 43 pitches in four scoreless innings, and Mattingly got good reports. He said Greinke was able to use all of his pitches and was sitting around 91-93 mph.
Greinke will next start Monday, and though there is a possibility that the Dodgers may have him throw in a minor league game in order to have the option to back date him on the disabled list, Mattingly hinted that might not be needed.
"We'll keep playing all the scenarios as we go. The health theory is that we'd like to see him on the front fields. I think he wants to be on the front fields, too," Mattingly said. "At this point if something flares up it's probably more than a start anyway, so the DL is not going to matter."
Greinke will have two more spring starts, on Mar. 25 and Mar. 30. If he doesn't go on the disabled list, the earliest he could start in the regular season is Apr. 5 against the Pirates. Mattingly was asked whether Greinke would be built up in time for that regular season debut with just two more starts.
"He just threw 40 in four. I think he's looking at 90 pitches as seven innings. I think that's the way he looks at it," Mattingly said. "That's pretty much a full outing, 90 pitches. It's pretty close."
The Dodgers head to Tucson on Thursday to face the Cubs in a game benefiting the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation. Stephen Fife starts on the mound and will be followed by five yet to be named pitchers from minor league camp. Scott Feldman starts for the Cubs.