Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Credits Yasiel Puig For Earning Spot On NLDS Roster
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers have just five games to evaluate players who are competing for a spot on the club’s roster come the National League Division Series. Game 1 against the Washington Nationals is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 7.

On Tuesday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed the trio of Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda will be on the playoff roster. The three pitchers are slated to start the first three games of the NLDS in the order listed.

Roberts also announced Yasiel Puig will be with the club beyond Sunday’s regular-season finale. “He’s done a lot to help us win a lot of baseball games,” Roberts said of Puig. “He’ll be on the postseason roster. He’s earned it.”

Puig was the everyday right fielder to begin the season, suffered from inconsistency at the plate and had his work ethic and attitude called into question. In August, the Dodgers demoted Puig to Triple-A Oklahoma City after failed efforts to trade the 25-year-old.

“Yasiel has self-admittedly, he’s grown,” Roberts said. “It’s tough to humble yourself, check your ego, and go to Oklahoma City and be a Minor League player. He did that, learned from it, and earned the right to be a Major League player.”

After a strong showing at Triple-A where he hit .348/.400/.594 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 19 games, Puig immediately rejoined the Dodgers once active rosters expanded. His relatively quick return came as somewhat of a surprise.

Puig has been a model citizen and teammate since getting recalled from Oklahoma City. He’s also produced on the field, batting .244/.327/.585 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 18 games (nine starts).

Los Angeles has primarily used Puig against left-handed pitching, and he presumably will be in the lineup for whichever NLDS game Nationals southpaw Gio Gonzalez starts. Though, Puig is a career 1-for-11 with five strikeouts against Gonzalez.

Puig is a lifetime .314/.368/.400 batter in 38 plate appearances over 11 NLDS games. He went 0-for-6 last in three games against the New York Mets in the 2015 NLDS, making just one start.