After fouling two balls off of his left leg last night, Yasiel Puig is out of tonight’s starting lineup. Dodger manager Don Mattingly isn’t concerned about the health of the 22-year old Cuban.
“He’s feeling good, Mattingly said. “He’s fine today. We’re just being cautious.”
In fact, Mattingly said the rookie will be in the starting lineup in tomorrow’s regular season finale.
“Very seldom do you see a guy hit the ball off of his foot or ankle and not be fine,” said the Dodger skipper. “When you get hit there, it hurts a lot, but it doesn’t hold the swelling good. Guys are usually able to play the next day.”
With only two games left before the start of the post season, the Dodgers are trying to construct their 25-man roster for the divisional series.
“We started the discussion today about our roster,” Mattingly said before the game. “There are a lot of different scenarios and you want to make sure you’re prepared.”
The Dodgers will face either the Braves or the Cardinals in the first round. Each team has a trio of players that will make the Dodgers consider adding lefty Chris Capuano to the roster as a reliever and long man.
“We’re thinking about Cappy,” Mattingly said. “If we weren’t thinking about adding him, we wouldn’t have rushed him back. Having another lefty would be nice.”
The Braves feature left-handed batters Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, and Jason Heyward. The batting averages of both McCann and Freeman are more than 30 points lower against lefties, Heyward has hit only three of his 14 homers off of lefties.
St. Louis has switch hitter Carlos Beltran who has hit .316 off of righties this season and only .252 against left handers.
The Cardinals also have Matt Carpenter and Jon Jay, each of whom hit from the left side.
Carpenter has dominated when facing right handed pitchers, hitting .334 with a .416 on-base percentage. Those numbers dip to .294 and .350 when he faces left handers.
Jay’s splits are even more staggering. In terms of batting average and on-base percentage, he’s .288/.360 vs. righties, and .220/.306 against southpaws.
If Capuano isn’t ready, the Dodgers could turn to Carlos Marmol or Edinson Volquez. Both players were designated for assignment by the teams they started the season with in 2013.
Marmol would appear to have the edge. Since coming to Los Angeles from the Cubs, the former All Star has posted a 2.53 earned run average in 23 games. Control is still an issue; in 21 1/3 innings, he’s walked 19 and hit one more.
With only five relief appearances in his nine-year career, Volquez might not be the best fit coming out of the bullpen.
The regular season ends tomorrow, but the decisions on who to keep for the NLDS figure to linger up until the deadline to turn in the roster early on Thursday, October 3rd. .
Mattingly, his coaches, General Manager Ned Colletti and his advisors are sure to debate the issue and try to come to a consensus.
“When you’ve got 12 or 15 guys in a room, you’re going to come up with lots of scenarios, lots of ideas,” Mattingly said. “We have some decisions to make and we’re going to put together a roster that gives us the best chance to win.”
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