Sidelined by injuries to both hamstrings in 2015, Puig appeared in only 79 games. Manager Dave Roberts insisted the team not put Puig at risk.
“He wants to play, but I’m going to scratch him, just for the sake of being ready for Opening Day” Roberts said. “He’s swinging the bat well, playing great. So any hint [of trouble] for me, right now, I’m going to err on the side of caution.”
Puig left the game Friday night after only three innings. The Dodgers said his exit was planned because he was scheduled to play on Saturday afternoon. But Roberts suggested Puig could have injured himself while straining to take second base on a double in Friday’s second inning.
“This morning, he was sore,” Roberts said. “There was a little something. So that’s all I needed to hear.”
For the Dodgers and for Roberts, the rush of injuries this spring has yet to slow. After the early blows to Brett Anderson and Hyun-Jin Ryu, Corey Seager strained his knee and Andre Ethier broke his leg. Yasmani Grandal will likely begin the season on the disabled list because of inflammation in his forearm.
Now Puig joins Howie Kendrick among the less severely injured. Kendrick is resting a tight calf.
“You’ve got to almost, not prepare for the worst, but expect the unexpected — whatever trite statement you want to say,” Roberts said. “I just think for us, we’re just looking forward and trying not to let any of these distractions take away from our focus.”
Follow Andy McCullough on Twitter: @McCulloughTimes
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