Yasiel Puig will start in center field for the first time this season and Hanley Ramirez will return to the lineup when the Dodgers open a three-game series Friday at AT&T Park against the San Francisco Giants.
Puig played center field as a late-inning substitute in the Dodgers’ last game. He started 10 games in center field last season.
Puig said center field was the position he played for most of his life. He laughed about how his first game of the season there would be in the spacious outfield at AT&T Park.
Puig didn’t start any of the Dodgers’ last four games. Like Ramirez, he was struck on the left hand in his last start. Matt Kemp pinch-hit for him in that game, which Puig acknowledged led to an argument between him and Manager Don Mattingly.
Ramirez was struck on his left hand a day later.
Unlike Puig, Ramirez wasn’t available to pinch-hit in the Dodgers’ recently-concluded series in Pittsburgh.
In other news, Mattingly announced the Dodgers would use their day off on Monday to reset their rotation again. Dan Haren’s next turn in the rotation will be skipped, Mattingly said.