LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers welcomed back outfielder Yasiel Puig to their lineup, batting him third on Saturday night, which is one thing that makes sense in the lineup against the Cardinals.
Some things are understandable and out of manager Don Mattingly's control, like Howie Kendrick still nursing a left knee injury and held out of the lineup for a third straight game. Kiké Hernandez is in his place, and batting fifth.
Adrian Gonzalez sits, which will happen occasionally. This is the fourth time he hasn't started this season, in 56 games. That's a pace of 150 starts, which is on the low end but right in line with his career, averaging 156 starts from 2006-2014, never fewer than 149 starts in any one season.
But three of those four games sitting for Gonzalez will have come in starts by Clayton Kershaw.
Alex Guerrero also sits, weakening the offense further, though an argument could be made that with his recent play in left field it would be better with a better defender out there. Chris Heisey starts in left field, and with his .300 career on-base percentage bats second, for some reason.
But Guerrero could also play third base, and by most accounts has fared much better defensively at the hot corner than in left field. Especially with Justin Turner at first base, that would be a prime opportunity for Guerrero to play third.
Instead, Alberto Callaspo starts at third base, his fourth start in 11 games since getting acquired from the Braves. In the previous 16 games before that trade, Juan Uribe had started only three times. The supposedly more versatile Callaspo has thus far played only third base for the Dodgers, while old friend Juan Uribe started at second base on Saturday for Atlanta.
.@truebluela what team are the Dodgers other half of the split squad playing?— Simply Matt (@The_UnReal_Matt) June 6, 2015
"Baseball is a game of streaks," Brett Anderson said on Friday night. "We could go out and put up 10 tomorrow, then ride that wave for a while."
With this lineup, that would be quite a feat. But stranger things have happened, because baseball.