Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Anticipates Yasiel Puig To ‘Play A Lot’
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers glut of outfielders essentially provides the option to platoon at all three outfield positions. However, that’s not a strategy or direction the club appears keen on. Nor does Yasiel Puig.

Coming off a disappointing 2015 season, Puig was instructed by the Dodgers to shed weight during the winter, with the hope it would alleviate his recurring hamstring issues. Puig complied with the club’s request, had a renewed focus and attitude, and drew rave reviews throughout Spring Training.

However, some old habits eventually resurfaced and the polarizing outfielder found himself on the trading block. Unable to move Puig prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers optioned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

He returned after a one-month stay in the Minors, though was part of a platoon with Josh Reddick. Puig has been open with his desire to be an everyday player this season, whether in Los Angeles or with another club.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts noted the club is better off with Puig in the lineup, referring to him as arguably one of the top defensive right fielders in baseball. Roberts more recently elaborated to say he believes Puig will receive a fair share of playing time, per Ken Gurnick of

“We all know Yasiel as a defender; if he’s out there he can impact a game on the defensive side,” said Roberts. “Now you look at at-bat quality vs. right or left. If it’s consistent, there should be no reason why he wouldn’t be out there virtually every day. Yasiel is very motivated, he wants to do what’s best for the club. I expect him to play a lot.”

Although trade speculation involving Puig was relatively quite over the winter, he recently was said to have been drawing some interest. In 104 games (81 starts) last season, Puig hit .263/.323/.416 with 14 doubles, 11 home runs, 45 RBI and a 101 OPS+.

Puig’s ability to succeed at the plate will further lengthen the Dodgers’ lineup, and how he fares against southpaws is of particular importance. Last season, Los Angeles ranked worst in the Majors in several offensive categories against left-handed pitching.