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Yasiel Puig, Dee Gordon optioned to minors by Dodgers

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Puig will report to Double-A Chattanooga, and Gordon will head to Triple-A Albuquerque.

USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers on Tuesday answered the growing question of whether or not their hottest hitter will make the opening day roster. The Dodgers optioned outfielder Yasiel Puig to Double-A Chattanooga and optioned shortstop Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Puig hit .526/.508/.842 in 59 plate appearances, with five doubles, three home runs, two triples, and four steals. He had 30 hits in 57 at-bats. But he also played just 23 minor league games last season, followed by 20 more games in winter ball in Puerto Rico.

The organization has always wanted Puig to open the season in the minors, to get more baseball experience, especially after not playing for a year and a half after defecting from Cuba.

"Puig has had a tremendous camp. The excitement he has created is pretty powerful now and moving forward," manager Don Mattingly said on Monday. "Is this guy's inexperience outweighed by what's going on? Can you live with with both sides of that coin?"

The Dodgers on Tuesday decided they could not. At least not yet.

Gordon was ticketed for Triple-A from the beginning of spring, but with the injury to Hanley Ramirez he had some glimmer of hope of earning a roster spot. But the club has decided to go with Luis Cruz at shortstop to fill in for Ramirez, and will use a combination of Jerry Hariston Jr., Juan Uribe, and Nick Punto at third base.

Gordon hit .206 (7-for-34) this spring, but with 10 walks had a .386 on-base percentage and stole seven bases without getting caught.

With the moves, the Dodgers have 36 players left in major league camp.