UPDATE (April 2, 9:20 p.m. PT): According to Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA, Yasiel Puig was removed from Thursday’s game as a precaution:
Puig hit in throat/neck area and taken out as a precaution. He's fine.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) April 3, 2015
Under Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations and general manager Farhan Zaidi, there was a concerted effort to improve the depth throughout the organization.
With Cactus League play having concluded Wednesday and Opening Day rapidly approaching, some of the Dodgers’ depth was put to the test as the pitching staff was decimated by injury. While pitchers struggled to remain healthy, position players didn’t
Andre Ethier was hit by a pitch on his right elbow earlier in the week, which knocked him out of the game but subsequent X-rays came back negative. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated the 32-year-old outfielder would likely return to the lineup after a few days.
Playing the first of their final three exhibition games before Opening Day, the Dodgers found themselves trailing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2-1 in the fifth inning. Aside from relying on a slew of relievers for a bullpen game, Mattingly had what closely resembled the expected everyday lineup on the field.
That of course meant Yasiel Puig was in right field, though he only managed to play into the fifth inning before being removed after colliding with Howie Kendrick on a shallow fly ball hit into right field.
Kendrick appeared to have somewhat of a read on the ball, however he sensed Puig charging in and attempted to give way to his teammate. Unfortunately, Kendrick was unable to avoid Puig and his left elbow appeared to hit Puig on his head and/or neck area.
As Mike Trout raced around the bases for a triple, Puig remained down on the ground. Dodgers trainer Stan Conte rushed out to tend to Puig, who walked off the field under his own power. An update on Puig’s status was not available at the time of this writing; Kendrick remained in the game and didn’t appear to suffer from any residual effects.