Dodgers News: Yasiel Puig To Bat 6th For ‘Foreseeable Future’
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last Sunday, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he was not inclined to move Yasiel Puig from the eight spot in the lineup. In filling out his first lineup card since making those comments, Roberts did just that.

Puig batted sixth in the series opener against the Chicago White Sox and went 0-for-2 with two walks and one strikeout. He drove a fly ball to the warning track in right field.

Of Puig’s 100 starts this season, Tuesday was his seventh in the six-hole. “Yasiel is hitting sixth, because of the season he’s had and consistent at-bat quality I’ve seen since the All-Star break,” Roberts said.

“He’s handled right-handed pitching all year, and it’s also a way to get Logan and Joc untracked. Thinking through the at-bats for Logan, Yasiel and Joc, and there’s something to performing.”

The domino effect saw Logan Forsythe batting seventh and Joc Pederson eighth. They went a combined 1-for-6 with two RBI in the win against the White Sox.

Forsythe’s sacrifice fly tied the game in the sixth inning, while Pederson was hit by a pitch in the eighth with the bases loaded to bring in the go-ahead run.

Roberts stopped short of calling the lineup change a ‘reward’ for Puig. He instead stressed the fact that it puts the Dodgers in the best position to win. How long Puig will remain in that spot has not been determined.

“A lot of it is contingent upon performance,” Roberts said. “Right now, for the foreseeable future, I see it this way.”

While Roberts has regularly praised Puig for what he’s called the dynamic outfielder’s best season of his career, the second-year manager has been particularly impressed since the All-Star break.

“For me, that game-winning homer against the Marlins was a turning point,” Roberts said. “As far as high-leverage situation, big spot, to not get out of himself and still put a good swing on the baseball, there’s been a handful of times since that point where he’s had some big spots and come through.”

Roberts thought Puig “responded really well” to the change, pointing to his key walks.