Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was scratched from the Dodgers’ starting lineup for Friday afternoon’s home opener because he was late for batting practice.
A team spokesman told ESPNLosAngeles.com that Puig was not aware that the team was hitting on the field prior to Friday’s 1:10 p.m. game. Before day games, the Dodgers often take batting practice in the indoor batting cage.
Puig came onto the field from Dodgers’ clubhouse at 10:26 a.m., at which point the team was about halfway through its batting practice.
Puig’s removal from the lineup allowed manager Don Mattingly to put Matt Kemp in the starting lineup in center field, with Andre Ethier moving from center to right. Prior to Puig being pulled from the lineup, Kemp was not in the lineup even though he had been activated from the disabled list Friday.
Kemp had October surgery on left ankle and missed the first five games. Kemp batted .113 in 53 at-bats in minor-league spring training games.
Being left out of the original starting lineup did not sit well with Kemp, according to the ESPNLosAngeles.com report.
Mattingly said the Dodgers will mix and match with their four outfielders, including left fielder Carl Crawford. In spring training, Kemp said he wouldn’t accept the role of fourth outfielder.
“At this point, I’m going to match up as best I can,” Mattingly said, according to the report. “You think about it a lot. With all our guys, I worry about them emotionally and what it does to them.”
Neither Kemp nor Mattingly spoke with the media after the lineup change.