‘Frustrated’ Yasiel Puig gets a day off against the San Diego Padres.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig is 1 for 11 in his career against San Diego Padres starter Andrew Cashner. (Andy Holzman/Staff photographer)

SAN DIEGO >> Dodgers manager Don Mattingly benched slumping outfielder Yasiel Puig for the first game of the Dodgers’ series against the Padres.

Andre Ethier is starting in center field for the first time in six days.

Puig is hitless in his last 18 plate appearances. He’s also 1 for 11 against the Padres’ starting pitcher, right-hander Andrew Cashner. His .091 batting average against Cashner is the lowest against any opponent he’s seen at least 10 times.

“He seems frustrated to us,” Mattingly said. “Just felt the extra day, with the matchups, it seems like it was the right thing to do today.”

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Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon: ‘I need a day off.’

Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon had been caught stealing in three of his previous seven stolen-base attempts coming into the weekend series against the Chicago Cubs. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)

The problem might have become obvious just before the Dodgers’ series against the Chicago Cubs.

Dee Gordon had been caught stealing in three of his previous seven attempts. That’s good for a lot of runners, not so much for the man who leads the major leagues with 51 steals. So Gordon gets a day off today against the Chicago Cubs.

“It wasn’t really planned,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “I was kind of trying to wait for a lefty. I just felt like he — you could tell — different coaches were coming to me, ‘Dee looks like he needs a day.’ Leg wise, things like that. So we wanted to make sure we took care of him.”

Mattingly said he doesn’t trust Gordon to come to him and report an injury. “He’s kind of probably a little bit nervous about saying he needs a day,” the manager said. So, he trusted the coaches.

Turns out the coaches were right.
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Dodgers’ quartet sees mixed results in All-Star game.

Dee Gordon Derek Jeter

Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon meets with New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter at Target Field in Minneapolis. (Associated Press photo)

Dee Gordon, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke could be proud of the way they performed against the American League’s best Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Yasiel Puig‘s memory of his first All-Star Game might not be as sweet.

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All-Star Game lineups announced; Yasiel Puig bats second, Clayton Kershaw in bullpen.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw has a no-hitter and a streak of 41 consecutive scoreless innings but won’t start the All-Star game tomorrow night in Minneapolis. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

Clayton Kershaw won’t start the All-Star Game for the National League despite throwing a no-hitter amid 41 consecutive scoreless innings this season.

And it came as little surprise.

National League manager Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals chose his own pitcher, Adam Wainwright, to start the game tomorrow night. Wainwright is 12-4 with a 1.83 earned-run average. Kershaw is 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA, best in the major leagues. It’s a bit reminiscent of last year, when the All-Star Game was played at Citi Field and New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey got the start over Kershaw despite similar credentials.

It’s no secret that managers look at more than just the numbers.

“If I’m Mike Matheny, I probably start my own guy. If I’m me, I start my guy,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Saturday, when asked for his pick to start the game. “If I’m Bud Black, I’m starting Despanga [Odrisamer Despaigne] or whatever his name is.”

Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, who is taking part in tonight’s home run derby at Target Field, is batting second and playing right field. Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon and pitcher Zack Greinke are also on the National League roster.

The full lineups for both teams:
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Yasiel Puig still leading National League outfielders on all-star ballot; Adrian Gonzalez slips to second.

MLB provided an updated all-star ballot tally Sunday, and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig still leads the pack with 1,942,701 votes. Andrew McCutchen (1,727,534) and Giancarlo Stanton (1,659,430) are second and third, respectively.

Adrian Gonzalez (1,049,222) fell behind Paul Goldschmidt (1,291,052) in voting among National League first basemen. No other Dodgers are among the top three vote-getters at their position.

Juan Uribe dropped out of the top five among National League third basemen. Hanley Ramirez remains fourth among shortstops with 667,162 — well behind Troy Tulowitzki, whose 2.6 million votes lead all National League players. Dee Gordon slipped to third among second baseman with 898,226, possibly past the point of catching leader Chase Utley (1,678,843).

Voting ends at 8:59 pm on July 3, 2014.

Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez continue their strong All-Star bids.

Yasiel Puig Adrian Gonzalez

Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez are attempting to become the first pair of Dodgers teammates to earn fan elections in an All-Star Game since 1980. (Getty Images)

Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez continue to lead all National League outfielders and first basemen, respectively, in updated All-Star balloting announced Monday.

Puig widened his lead over Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, 1,472,717 votes to 1,259,047 for Stanton. As of six days ago, Puig led Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon by about 52,000 votes. Blackmon fell out of the top three, surpassed by Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez. There are no other Dodger outfielders (Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are both on the ballot) among the top 15 vote-getters.

Puig entered play Monday ranked second in the N.L. with a .591 slugging percentage and a .430 on-base percentage, tied for fourth with 23 multi-hit games, fifth with 127 total bases, tied for sixth with 40 RBI and 30 extra-base hits and tied for seventh with 72 hits.

Gonzalez maintains his lead with 888,906 total votes. He is trailed closely by a pair of 2013 N.L. All-Stars – Paul Goldschmidt (784,026) of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Freddie Freeman (710,778) of the Atlanta Braves.

Puig and Gonzalez are attempting to become the first pair of Dodgers teammates to earn fan elections in an All-Star Game since 1980, when first baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, shortstop Bill Russell and outfielder Reggie Smith were all elected by the fans.

Three other Dodgers are among the top five vote-getters at their positions: second baseman Dee Gordon (second), shortstop Hanley Ramirez (fourth) and third baseman Juan Uribe (fifth).

The All-Star Game will be played at Target Field in Minnesota on Tuesday, July 15.

What to expect when the Dodgers draft today.

Craig Biggio

Craig Biggio might be the best 22nd overall draft pick in baseball history. Coincidentally, the Houston Astros have the first pick tonight. (Getty Images)

The Dodgers have the 22nd and 62nd picks when the amateur draft begins with rounds one and two (plus compensation rounds) tonight. Logan White, the Dodgers’ VP of amateur scouting, is thrilled.

“I love picking down later,” he said, “because it means we’re doing well down here. There are guys who slip through the cracks.”

A sampling of past number-22 picks shows he’s right. The list includes Rafael Palmeiro (1985), Craig Biggio (1987), Jayson Werth (1997), current Twins closer Glen Perkins (2004) and emerging Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong (2011). From 1980 to 2005 only one player drafted 22nd overall did not at least reach the major leagues, and even poor Charles Peterson (1993) had a career .290/.347/.431 slash line in 14 minor-league seasons.

I wrote yesterday about what makes this draft different. It’s the same thing, arguably more than any other, that’s made the entire MLB season different: Tommy John is again the most famous name in pitching. On Tuesday, Chris Withrow became the 21st major-league pitcher to have the ligament-replacement procedure since spring training began (technically he was brought up from the minors prior to the procedure).

The rash of younger pitchers needing the procedure — which carries a high rate of success but also a 12 to 18 month recovery period — could affect who falls to number 22.

“I would only be speculating,” White said, “but I imagine that people are going to go in the other direction, they’re going to be afraid to take a pitcher.”
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All-Star balloting update: Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez have the votes.

Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez made the All-Star team each year from 2008-11, but none since. (Associated Press)


Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez are the leading vote-getters at their respective positions for the National League All-Star Game.

Puig surged from fifth to first at the polls. His total of 935,276 votes leads Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon (883,186) and Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (863,307).

Gonzalez (647,826) remained in line to start at first base for the second straight week, leading Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau (525,614).

Dee Gordon (530,289) remains second to Chase Utley (974,196) among National League second basemen, while Hanley Ramirez is fourth among shortstops (366,355) and Juan Uribe is fifth among third basemen (436,776).

Puig is the only Dodgers outfielder among the top 15 vote-getters. The game will be played at Minnesota’s Target Field on July 15.