Don Mattingly would consider moving Yasiel Puig to center field, keeping Matt Kemp in right.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig has played 10 games in center field, all last season. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)

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.

Manager Don Mattingly said that Matt Kemp looked so comfortable playing right field Monday that he entertained the thought of keeping Kemp there and moving Puig to center field.

“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.”
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Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez out; Paco Rodriguez optioned as Dodgers activate Josh Beckett.

Hanley  Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez did not taking batting practice Monday, one day after he was hit in the left hand and left shoulder by pitches in St. Louis. (Associated Press photo)

PITTSBURGH >> Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez are not in the Dodgers’ lineup for the second consecutive day.

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.

Josh Beckett was activated from the 15-day disabled list and will start the game for the Dodgers. Left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Hanley Ramirez out, Yasiel Puig questionable for Dodgers’ series opener in Pittsburgh.

Hanley Ramirez

Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez was hit by pitches twice Sunday in St. Louis. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

PITTSBURGH >> The second round of x-rays on the left hands of Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig aren’t in at the moment. The Dodgers aren’t expecting to see any fractures, but both players are on the bench to begin a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Update (4:00 p.m.): x-rays on both players’ left hands came back negative.

“Hanley’s sore. Yasiel is still a bit sore,” manager Don Mattingly said Monday. “Hanley, we’re not going to try to do anything with. Yasiel, as the day goes on, we’ll see if he can do anything.”

Both players are listed as reserves, with Matt Kemp starting in right field for the first time since 2009 and Justin Turner starting at shortstop for the first time since May 1. The Dodgers’ bench could be a short one, with Drew Butera, Miguel Rojas and Scott Van Slyke the only options if Puig and Ramirez can’t go.

Puig was hit on the hand in the Dodgers’ loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. Ramirez was hit in the hand (and the shoulder) in the Dodgers’ win on Sunday. Neither player had any protective apparatus covering his hand in the clubhouse Monday afternoon.

With Yasiel Puig injured, Matt Kemp makes his first start in right field since 2009.

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp will make his first start in right field today since October 2009. (Associated Press photo)

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.”
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Why Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig are getting second x-rays.

Every sports writer should know a doctor.

A doctor with intimate knowledge of sports medicine is ideal. One with intimate knowledge of the ulnar collateral ligament and the rotator cuff is perfect. Any orthopedist will do, really.

I called an orthopedist this morning to gain a better understanding of the difference between a fluoroscan x-ray, the kind that took pictures of Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig‘s hands over the weekend in St. Louis, and a traditional x-ray machine.
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Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig will receive second x-ray in Pittsburgh, won’t play in the meantime.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig is batting .308 with 12 home runs and 52 RBIs in 92 games this season. (Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS >> The Dodgers have ordered a second x-ray on Yasiel Puig‘s left hand, and the all-star right fielder will not play in the Dodgers’ game against the St. Louis Cardinals tonight at Busch Stadium.

The right fielder was hit by a pitch in the third inning of the Dodgers’ 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. An x-ray after the game was negative, meaning it revealed no broken bones. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Puig won’t participate in any baseball activities until the second x-ray — scheduled for Monday in Pittsburgh — comes back clean.

“I think they just want to be cautious,” Mattingly said. “We think he’ll be OK.”

Puig batted once (he popped out) and played five innings in the field after being hit by a changeup from Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly in the third inning Saturday. The hand was visibly swollen after the game.

“He’s still sore and I think a little bit swollen,” Mattingly said. “Obviously we’re going to be cautious at this point.”

Coincidentally, Kelly hit Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez with a pitch in last year’s National League Championship Series, breaking a rib.

The Dodgers begin a three-game series against the Pirates on Monday.

Fox boasts highest All-Star Game viewership since 2010.

Viewership ratings for Tuesday’s All-Star Game were the highest in four years, according to ratings released today by Major League Baseball.

Fox’s telecast of the game attracted 11.34 million viewers, the most since the American League beat the National League 3-1 at Angel Stadium in 2010. The last All-Star games for Yankee pitcher Mariano Rivera in 2013 and Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter on Tuesday helped the game achieve its first viewership increase in back-to-back years since 1993 and 1994.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and right fielder Yasiel Puig were among the top five players mentioned most often via social media. Here’s a graphical breakdown of the game’s social media impact:

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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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MLB: Home run derby raises $465,000 for participants’ charities.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig didn’t hit any home runs in the Home Run Derby last night. (Getty Images)

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig didn’t hit any home runs at baseball’s annual Home Run Derby last night, but his bat had an impact.

All 10 participants in the derby teamed up to raise money for charity. With 82 total home runs hit during the competition (including 11 “FlexBall” home runs worth $10,000 each), Gillette and Major League Baseball combined to raise $465,000 to charity, according to the league.

Per an MLB release, the funds will be distributed as follows:

  • $50,000 to Yoenis Cespedes’ charity of choice for winning the competition
  • $95,000 to Minneapolis Boys & Girls Club programs and MLB “Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities” (RBI) program
  • $20,000 to the charities of choice for each of Cespedes’ Derby teammates
  • $25,000 to NL Captain Troy Tulowitzki’s charity of choice
  • $25,000 to AL Captain Jose Bautista’s charity of choice
  • $8,000 to the charities of choice for each of the NL participants
  • The balance of the funds raised will be split between RBI & Boys & Girls Clubs of America

A Dodgers spokesperson said that Puig hasn’t chosen his charity yet.