A day after Yasiel Puig was benched for showing up late, he's back in the lineup as part of Dodger manager Don Mattingly's all right-hand-hitting outfield. Matt Kemp and Scott Van Slyke will start alongside Puig.
The presence of San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner prompted the move. Since breaking into the Major Leagues in 2009, Bumgarner has held lefty hitters to a .211 average and a .253 on-base percentage.
“This guy is tough on lefties,” Mattingly said. "I know my guys like to play, but they know this is a tough matchup. Scotty (Van Slyke) hasn’t played in a while. We want to keep him sharp. I’m trying to match up best with our personnel.”
Van Slyke's last start was the season’s opener in Australia. He went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and a homer. Though the Dodgers have played only five games since, 13 days have passed.
“Right now it feels funny because of all the off days,” said Mattingly. “We’re going to get into a stretch where there are no off days. Guys are going to get nicked up and tired and the days off will make sense.”
With a surplus of talented outfielders, Mattingly has the luxury of favorable match ups. He also has the responsibility of trying to keep his players happy.
“We’re going to keep communicating," said the Dodger skipper. "Today I talked with Dre and Carl both just to let them know they’re not in there.”
The 24-year old Bumgarner has handcuffed the Dodgers; in 11 career starts against them he's 8-3 with a 2.61 ERA. Last year he won three of four against Los Angeles, allowing only six earned runs in 28 innings.
With all the right-handers into the lineup, Mattingly hopes to buck that trend.
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