Mattingly on not playing Puig in CF: 'He's out of control most of the time'
The Dodgers have been hesitant to play Yasiel Puig in center field because manager Don Mattingly says "he's out of control."
Despite all the high-priced outfielders on their roster, the Dodgers have had three different players start at least 15 games in center field this season. Andre Ethier leads the way with 44, Matt Kemp is next at 29, and Scott Van Slyke is third with 15. You'd think they could find one no doubt everyday guy, but nope.
Kemp has been moved to left field because of his defensive issues and Ethier best fits in the corner. The same applies to Van Slyke, who has started six of the team's last 14 games in center. Carl Crawford is a career left fielder despite his speed and he appears to be a non-option in center. So what about Yasiel Puig?
Why hasn't he played Puig in CF before? "Pretty much because he's out of control most of the time. ... I don't mean to say that badly"— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) July 22, 2014
That quote comes from manager Don Mattingly, by the way. He isn't wrong either. Puig plays the game like his hair is on fire and that leads to more than a few misplays, as you know. Misplays in center are a bigger deal that misplays in a corner.
For what it's worth, Puig did play 10 games in center field last season, including four starts. He is probably the best defensive outfielder on the roster in terms of range and certainly throwing arm, but it seems like he will remain in right field for the time being.
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