The outfield situation has been one big shuffle this season for the Los Angeles Dodgers with one constant being Yasiel Puig in right field.

Manager Don Mattingly has consistently shot down any ideas of Puig playing center field despite the lack of strong defense at the position. Matt Kemp began the year in center and was moved to left field following struggles on defense. Currently, the Dodgers are using a platoon of Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke as the captain of the outfield, even though both are below-average with the glove.

Kemp was moved to right field for Monday’s game and his play made a big enough impression to consider a change in the outfield according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

In terms of speed and arm, Puig is the team’s strongest outfielder and could prove to be a difference maker in center. His downside comes in the thought that he would be too reckless in the spot, either misplaying balls because of his eagerness or injuring himself by doing too much. The Cuban outfielder played in 10 games in center field last season, starting in six of those games.

Kemp has vowed to return to center field in the future, but it appears as if that time won’t be coming this season. The move to right field marked the first time in the position since 2009 and Kemp made all the basic plays, displaying his arm strength on one throw that was just late at home. It would appear that Kemp would remain in right with Puig in center and a revolving door of Ethier, Van Slyke and Carl Crawford in left.

As with most comments this season, Mattingly could decide to change his mind at any moment.

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Yasiel Puig’s Top Five Plays


About The Author

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

5 Responses

  1. Greg Cox

    Can ANYONE ANYWHERE explain to me why, after watching numerous highlight films from Joc Pederson in centerfield, with 19 HR/24 SB & .327/.452/.582/1.034 POSSIBLY want to “fit” Puig/Van Slyke (?!) and Ethier in centerfield?

    Reply
  2. Dodgers News: Mattingly Calls Joc Pederson Best CF In Organization | Dodgers Nation

    […] Matt Kemp began the year in center before being moved to left because of issues in the field. Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke are currently splitting duties at the position, but neither are known for their speed or defensive prowess. This prompted Don Mattingly to consider changing his stance of keeping Yasiel Puig in right field, saying that they would consider moving him to center soon. […]

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  3. Dodgers News: Mattingly Noticing Puig's Changes In Outfield | Dodgers Nation

    […] Puig was recently moved to center field, due to inconsistency on defense from the team’s other outfielders, and has looked strong at the spot. Despite his miscue on Monday, Puig is continuing to learn the fundamentals and is trying to avoid the mental lapses that have plagued him since his promotion to the big leagues. He has done quite well thus far, as he has cut down on his mistakes and has even been hitting the cutoff man a majority of the time. […]

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