Andre Ethier hasn’t made an error in right field and is batting .305, but will move to left field when Yasiel Puig is activated from the disabled list. (David Crane/Staff photographer)
DENVER — Yasiel Puig is getting closer to a return, close enough that Don Mattingly was willing to divulge that Andre Ethier will move to left field once Puig is back.
Monday in Arizona, Puig ran “really well, felt good about it, close to 100 percent getting down the line,” Mattingly said. The 24-year-old is still on track to begin a minor-league rehab assignment later this week.
Beyond that, there’s no timetable for Puig to return.
Ethier has played an errorless right field in 33 starts this season. But Puig has the better arm, so shifting Ethier to left field isn’t a surprising move. In what’s becoming a remarkable bounceback season at the plate, Ethier is slashing .305/.395/.519 — basically a career year for the 33-year-old outfielder, who signed a six-year contract extension in June 2012.
The Dodgers and Atlanta Braves were tied 2-2 in the eighth inning Monday. Then Andre Ethier, Alex Guerrero and Jimmy Rollins do what the 2015 Dodgers do best — hit home runs — and suddenly it was a new game. Four of the Dodgers’ runs in their 6-3 win came via the longball.
In fact, 95 of their 191 RBIs this season have been collected via home runs — only 35 via solo homers.
Don Mattingly said after the game that “I don’t think that’s the kind of club we’ll necessarily end up being but I don’t mind it.”
Today’s box score is here. The game story is here. The photo gallery is here.
Prior to the game, I asked the man with more wins than any pitcher in a Dodgers uniform about what Clayton Kershaw (2-3) is going through. Kershaw starts against the Braves tomorrow.
Andre Ethier (left) and Joc Pederson (right) hit home runs in the Dodgers’ 8-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)
If I told you a couple years ago that Joc Pederson, Rubby De La Rosa and Carlos Frias would be in the starting lineup May 1, 2015 at Dodger Stadium, you probably wouldn’t have been surprised. You might have guessed that Pederson would be batting leadoff, belting tape-measure grand slams, establishing himself as one of the most consistent presences in the Dodger lineup (even if his place in the batting order wasn’t always the same).