Dodgers @ Diamondbacks April 11, 2015: Yasiel Puig sits, because reasons

Last night’s game was all kinds of frustrating. The Dodgers had ample opportunities to win, but they couldn’t pull through. Oh, and I know he’s a great player and all, but Paul Goldschmidt is really annoying.

Dodgers
Diamondbacks
5:40 p.m.
Phoenix
SS
Rollins
CF
Pollock
LF
Crawford
LF
Inciarte
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Goldschmidt
2B
Kendrick
RF
Trumbo
RF
Ethier
3B
Hill
3B
Turner
2B
Owings
CF
Pederson
C
Gosewisch
C
Ellis
SS
Ahmed
P
Kershaw (L)
P
Bradley (R)

But the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw going tonight, which is never a bad thing. What is a bad thing is the fact Yasiel Puig is out of the lineup. Yes, he has struggled through the season’s first four games (2-for-17, six strikeouts), but that’s not really a reason to sit him. He stung a couple of balls really well on Wednesday night against the Padres, but they were just outs in the box score. This is somewhat reminiscent of Game 4 of the NLDS when Andre Ethier played in favor of Puig. Don Mattingly gave some lame excuse about Ethier giving the Dodgers the best chance to win that game, which, whatever.

Puig is a dynamic player and should not be getting days off in the first week of the season. There’s no reason for it. If this were late April and he was hitting .125 or something, OK. But it’s the fifth game of the season. He’s the most talented player on the roster, and every time he isn’t in the lineup — no matter who is on the mound — the Dodgers have less of a chance of winning that game.

Juan Uribe, also off to a cold start (3-for-13), also sits. That’s a little more understandable, seeing as he’s 36 years old and will need occasional days off. And his replacement had a career-year in 2014 and was red (sorry) hot this spring. Ethier doesn’t really add to the Dodgers’ win probability, whereas Turner does (more with his bat than his glove, but third base is his best defensive position).

Like I said, luckily Kershaw is going tonight. He’s facing off against Archie Bradley, the Diamondbacks’ top prospect who is also making his major league debut. So, good luck, kid.

Lastly, Yimi Garcia is really good. So good that Mattingly runs the risk of overusing the youngster. He’s averaging 22 pitches per outing in his three, which, thankfully, included a 2-day break on Wednesday and Thursday. For comparison’s sake, Paco Rodriguez has thrown six pitches total in his two outings. Mattingly was criticized for overusing Rodriguez a couple years ago, and with J.P. Howell no longer a lock, he might have to rely on Paco some more. But he needs to be careful with his usage of Garcia. His stuff is electric and the Dodgers cannot afford to risk injury to such a promising young arm.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.