“That’s no graveyard, that’s an oil well, and they just hit a bonanza.”
Puig or Pederson?
Now Pederson is here at Dodger Stadium, starting in center field while Yasiel Puig sits for the second time in his last five games.
Puig has two hits in his last 30 at-bats coming into Tuesday night’s game, with a right-hander (Doug Fister) on the mound for the Washington Nationals. Pederson — who struck out to end Monday’s game in his first major-league at-bat — is the reigning Pacific Coast League rookie of the year and MVP.
Mattingly downplayed the long-term debate by saying he would “pull (Puig) off and help him a bit, then give him a chance to get back in the water.” He said that Puig wouldn’t have to prove that he deserves the everyday center fielder’s job, but neither did he say when Puig’s next chance would come.
“I haven’t really thought about tomorrow,” Mattingly said. “Just putting it up today and see where we’re at.”
Matt Kemp was named National League Player of the Week on Monday for the week of July 28-August 3.
In six games, Kemp was tied for the Major League lead with five home runs and nine RBI while leading the NL with a 1.091 slugging percentage and ranking second with 24 total bases. He hit .409 (9-for-22), the N.L.’s fourth-highest mark last week, and compiled a .458 on-base percentage, which was good for sixth. Kemp added a stolen base and six runs scored.
This is Kemp’s fifth career Player of the Week honor, having won previously for the weeks ending May 4, 2008; September 25, 2011; April 8, 2012; and April 15, 2012.
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Matt Kemp will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time.
SAN FRANCISCO >> Despite rumors swirling around outfielder Matt Kemp, and the recent struggles of several veteran pitchers, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Saturday that “we may not do anything” between now and the non-waiver trade deadline of 1 p.m. Thursday.
“We have a club that’s solid, still has a lot of upside. Have we won four games in a row yet?”
PITTSBURGH >> It was just a thought in the middle of a July game, but it’s one that could have lasting consequences for the Dodgers.
“It made me think about it,” Mattingly said. “Just how comfortable Matt looked, it changes the combination of guys. So again, you’re always trying to put the best club out there, give yourself the best chance to win. It just popped into my head during the game last night.”
The Dodgers will use the same lineup against Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Vance Worley that led to a 5-2 win Monday, with Matt Kemp starting in right field, Andre Ethier in center field and Carl Crawford in left. Before Monday, Kemp hadn’t started a game in right field since October 2009.
Puig was hit in the left hand by a Joe Kelly pitch on Saturday in St. Louis. Ramirez was hit in the left hand by a Trevor Rosenthal pitch Sunday. X-rays on both players revealed no broken bones, but they were still too hurt to take batting practice Monday. Puig was said to be closer to returning than Ramirez.
PITTSBURGH >> Matt Kemp will make his 132nd career start in right field today. That’s quite a few starts, longer than many careers. By some advanced measures (namely, BIS Defensive Runs Saved Above Average), right field is Kemp’s best defensive position.
But his last start there was October 3, 2009. Kemp’s preparation for his latest position shift consists of shagging fly balls prior to today’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Without explicitly saying he had lowered expectations for Kemp in the field, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly lowered the expectations for Kemp in the field Monday.
“We really do make a big deal out of this and you know what? We don’t ask him to be perfect. We ask him to do his best,” Mattingly said. “If it’s not perfect, it’s not necessarily his fault.”
ST. LOUIS>>Matt Kemp insists he’s a center fielder. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has used Kemp in left field, not center, for all but three innings since May 22.
Kemp insists he’s an everyday player. With the Dodgers, he’s part of a five-man outfield rotation.
This apparent conflict of opinions hasn’t prompted Kemp to ask the Dodgers for a trade — a popular opinion with the trade deadline approaching and a headline like this one appearing on FoxSports.com.
But Kemp was happy to clarify the comments made by his agent, Dave Stewart, that Kemp would prefer to be playing center field rather than receiving inconsistent playing time in left or right.
“I want to be in a situation where I play every day,” he said Friday. “If it’s with the Dodgers, if it’s with someone else, that’s not my decision.
“I don’t have a no-trade clause. I don’t have any of that. I’m a Dodger. I’m going to play and help them any way I can. I’m blessed that I can wear a jersey and play the game I love to play.”