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Roberts hints to trust issues in why Yasiel Puig is not in the lineup

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — Yasiel Puig’s decision to attempt to steal second was still on manager Dave Roberts’ mind this morning when the Dodger lineup was released an hour or so ago. While Roberts had explanations for Joc Pederson and Curtis Granderson starting in left and right field respectively, he had little to say about why Yasiel Puig was not in the lineup.

“Grandy is going to be on the postseason roster, he’s played the last couple of years in right field so he’s comfortable there,” Roberts said, “wanted to make sure to give Joc a start, haven’t had him get a start here recently, so just to give him opportunity to play defense and get some at-bats and obviously Chris Taylor is out there.”

Roberts ruled out an injury issue being the reason for his not being in the lineup today.

“Yasiel, from what I understand, his ankle is fine, not in the lineup today,” Roberts said, and when Roberts was asked if if this was a planned absence, “I don’t know, I don’t know the answer to that question,” Roberts said and then he reversed himself, “I do but I don’t want to say.”

Roberts later added that “[Puig] didn’t get treatment yesterday.”

Roberts then expanded on his answer by talking about trust and putting out a lineup he believes that can win today.

“When I put a player in the lineup, every situation, every pitch, every out is important,” Roberts said, “it’s important that the guys that I write in the lineup, I can trust them, so that’s all I am going to say about that.”

Roberts then indicated that while he has expressed for much of the season how Puig has responded so well to the coaching and his teammates, he has continued to monitor Puig’s actions throughout the season.

“There’s been some things that you look back, I have kept notes of,” Roberts said, “but yeah, you have to trust in all your players.”

Roberts’ communication skills is something that has been highlighted throughout is Dodger managerial stint but in this case, he has yet to talk to Puig.

“I didn’t see [Puig] after last night’s game,” Roberts said and he had not spoken to him at the time of this pregame talk with the media.

Starting linueps

Pos Giants Pos Dodgers
Pos Giants Pos Dodgers
CF Hernandez CF Taylor
2B Tomlinson SS Seager (L)
1B Posey 1B Bellinger (L)
RF Pence RF Granderson (L)
C Hundley 3B Forsythe
SS Crawford (L) 2B Utley (L)
3B Sandoval (S) C Grandal (S)
LF Williamson LF Pederson (L)
P Stratton P Kershaw (L)

Roberts later talked about what the remaining games in the regular season and perhaps this put some insight in his comments or non-comments about Yasiel Puig.

“Everyday is a test, everyday is an evaluation day and there’s obviously guys with their track record, the season that they’d have, their roles currently, obviously there’s goes without saying certain guys,” Roberts said, “but there’s a percentage of guys that you are still trying to compete and earn an opportunity to be on the playoff roster.” “And we’re also still trying to play baseball games, that’s a priority as well, we’re evaluating every day.”