Beyond that, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was deliberately vague about the health of his rookie right fielder, saying that Puig could miss anywhere from one day to two weeks.
“It’s just a pretty big window for me to be right,” Mattingly said. “It’d be the first time all year.”
The Dodgers have had a policy all season long of restricting the public comments of second-year head athletic trainer Sue Falsone. She hasn’t commented on player injuries in a season full of them.
On Sunday alone left fielder Carl Crawford was day-to-day with tightness in his back, center fielder Andre Ethier was given a second straight day off after re-aggravating a left ankle injury Friday night and shortstop Hanley Ramirez was on the bench two days after receiving a cortisone injection in his back to relieve symptoms of sciatica.
Charged with revealing (and concealing) the day-to-day updates, Mattingly has been deliberately vague and, by his own admission, misleading at times. Sunday, he said he was “being playful.”
But the timing of Puig’s latest injury makes his health a particularly sensitive topic. There are only 14 games left in the regular season. The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the National League West is four, and Mattingly admitted to some level of concern about Puig’s health for the beginning of the playoffs.
“I’m concerned with him, Hanley, everybody else,” Mattingly said. “We’ll have to see if there are other options for guys to get in there.”
On the optimistic side, the Dodgers didn’t order an MRI exam of Puig’s hip. Mattingly said there was no reason to.
“It doesn’t seem that serious,” he said.
On Saturday, Puig made a spectacular diving catch and appeared to be hurting in the top of the fifth inning while trying to rob Buster Posey of a bases-loaded hit. He was hit near the head by a Tim Lincecum pitch in his next at-bat, went from first to third apparently free of pain, but was taken out after the inning.
Puig’s timetable for recovery has implications for who plays right field (it’ll be rookie Nick Buss on Sunday) and who bats leadoff (shortstop Dee Gordon) for the Dodgers. Mattingly said that Matt Kemp will join the team in Arizona tomorrow for an early workout at Chase Field and could even play tomorrow against the Diamondbacks “if everything goes perfect.”