LOS ANGELES — Yasiel Puig is out of the starting lineup on Wednesday night against the A’s at Dodger Stadium, the last Dodgers regular to get a day of rest in the early going this season.
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Puig has played every inning in right field so far this season, starting all 10 games. He lobbied manager Dave Roberts to play but Roberts won out, coupling this rest day with Thursday’s scheduled off day.
“He always wants to play and that’s a good thing,” Roberts said. “He’ll still be available.”
On the season Puig is 9-for-43 (.209) in the early going with two doubles and no home runs. He spent part of his pregame on Wednesday taking early batting practice with hitting coach Turner Ward.
Matt Kemp starts in right field in Puig’s place on Wednesday, with Joc Pederson slotting in left field and batting second.
Trayce Thompson makes his first start of the season, batting eighth and playing center field for Oakland. “I’m always rooting for Trayce,” Roberts said. “I look at all the guys I’ve been around, and he’s at the top as far as character.”
Yimi Garcia, who began the season in extended spring training to continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery, will begin a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City within a day or two. “He checked all the boxes,” Roberts said. “From what I’ve seen in the reports, all the characteristics and the velocity is where it needs to be.”
Kenta Maeda turned 30 on Wednesday. Roberts said he still hasn’t paid off the steak dinner he owes Maeda for hitting a home run during batting practice in spring training of Maeda’s rookie season of 2016. “I need to make that happen,” Roberts said, smiling. “I’m in debt, I gotta follow through.”