Over the past two seasons the Los Angeles Dodgers have not only assembled plenty of depth throughout their roster, but also versatility. While that proved instrumental in the club overcoming a record number of injuries, the Dodgers now face multiple questions for their postseason roster.
Among those manager Dave Roberts has said will be with the club for their matchup with the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series is Andrew Toles. So too will Yasiel Puig, whom Roberts said ‘earned’ a spot on the postseason roster.
Puig and Toles are both capable of playing any of the three outfield positions. Andre Ethier can play the corner spots, but whether he’ll be on the NLDS roster hasn’t been revealed. Josh Reddick said he’s comfortable playing center and right field.
Although Puig gives the Dodgers added flexibility by being able to play multiple positions, Roberts doesn’t feel the need to play him in center field in the event the club faces a left-handed starting pitcher or for defensive purposes.
“I think he’s pretty good [in center field]. I think he’s a great right fielder and that goes with logging the innings that he has throughout his career. But I think if given the opportunity, he can play a pretty good center field,” Roberts said this week.
“His arm certainly plays at all three spots but with the way that our guys throw, there wouldn’t really be a situation where I feel like I need to defend for Reddick, Joc (Pederson), or Toles. Albeit, [Puig’s] arm strength is better than all three of those guys.”
Roberts went on to explain the likelihood of seeing Puig in center field would only be as part of a double switch. The 25-year-old leads all regular Dodgers outfielders with six assists. Pederson, Reddick and Toles each have three.
Puig started in center field on July 17, did so again three days later, and has played 6.2 innings at the position over two September games. Prior to this season, Puig last logged time in center as a rookie in 2013.