LOS ANGELES — Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was penciled into the starting lineup for Monday’s series opener against the Padres, one day after he sat amid manager Dave Roberts talking about “trust issues” surrounding the outfielder.
Then, Puig showed up late to a planned 3 p.m. early batting practice session on Monday, so he was benched again.
“To be frank, there was a situation where he had to be on the field, and he was late,” Roberts said. “Where we’re at right now, it has to be very clear to everyone in the clubhouse that the only purpose is to prepare for the postseason, to finish this season strong, and to be about goals.
“No one player can be bigger than the team. The priority has got to be for all of us. For me, that was a decision he made. Not me.”
Roberts was visibly upset after Saturday’s loss to the Giants, when Puig was thrown out trying to steal second base for the last out of the game. Puig was running on his own, and didn’t slide when reaching second.
Puig said Saturday night that he twisted his ankle as he was about to slide, which is why he pulled up, but then didn’t receive treatment for his ankle, Roberts said on Sunday.
|SS||Aybar (S)||SS||Seager (L)|
|3B||Solarte (S)||LF||Bellinger (L)|
|CF||Jankowski (L)||C||Grandal (S)|
On Monday, Roberts’ tone was more like a disappointed parent.
“All year long he’s been great, and we’ve talked many times about accountability,” Roberts said. “This is one of those situations where he has to be accountable.
“The onus is on him. I wanted him in there, I expected him in there. When you show up late for work, there’s got to be consequences. That’s just the way life works, and the way life should work.”
Roberts had a meeting with Puig after the media scrum on Monday, and a Dodgers official passed along word that the plan is for Puig to start on Tuesday.
Puig, hitting .259/.339/.474 with 26 home runs on the season, leads the Dodgers in games played (147), starts (130) and defensive innings (1,170⅔) in 2017.
With Puig out of the lineup on Monday, Kiké Hernandez starts in right field, and Cody Bellinger is in left field. Rob Segedin gets the start at first base against Padres left-hander Travis Wood.
Segedin last played on Sept. 10.
Austin Barnes starts at second base, his fourth start and 18th game at the position in 2017.
“To get [Barnes] out there and continue to get repetitions is good for all of us, if there’s a double switch situation, and to get him at-bats,” Roberts said. “With him in the lineup, it gives us a good opportunity to win.”