So it’s whatever makes
This after an entire one-game experiment that happened only because of injury to Puig.
Whatever, the move makes sense on one level: With his speed and aggressiveness, Puig would seem a natural center fielder. Aside from that part where he does his human pinball routine.
That’s the great fear with Puig, that he’ll bulldoze over another outfielder -- or perish the thought, poor little
Mattingly said he had considered the move of Puig to center previously, but pushed the idea aside.
"Pretty much because he's out of control most of the time," Mattingly said.
Or he feared arrest for putting innocent lives at risk.
Puig has played 10 games in center, though you always watched with fingers crossed in hope there would be no hanging drive in the gaps. But this season Puig has cut down on his wildness, to the point where earlier this year Mattingly called him the best right fielder in baseball.
So why would you think of switching positions of the best right fielder in baseball?
Because he could easily prove one of the best in center, the key outfield spot. Currently the Dodgers have a semi-platoon in center, starting
Kemp proved so unreliable in center, Mattingly understandably prefers having someone who will at least make a correct break on the ball and run the proper route. Kemp, however, has said repeatedly he still considers himself a center fielder and has never looked truly comfortable in left.
But for reasons he may not even understand, Kemp does seem to be OK playing in right. And for one night at least, he looked comfortable out there.
"It felt natural," he said after Monday's game.
If Mattingly does make the move, it would mean Ethier would have to change positions yet again this season. That’s not ideal, either, since he would be theoretically sharing playing time with fellow left-handed hitting outfielder
Still awfully messy, but if Kemp can approximate the Kemp who was once runner-up for the
It's pretty late in the season to consider making such a significant move, but it's not like the offense has been living up to its supposed potential. Mattingly's stated goal has always been to field the best possible lineup every game.