Strained shoulder forces Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig to sit out
Outfielder Yasiel Puig was scratched from the lineup Wednesday with what the Dodgers described as a strained right shoulder, becoming the first casualty of the brawl involving the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
Puig is listed as day to day, meaning he could be ready to play when the Dodgers open a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Friday. But the rookie outfielder could be sidelined for more games, as he figures to be disciplined by the league office for his role in the fracas.
Puig hadn’t complained of any problems with his shoulder before the Dodgers faced the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, according to a team spokesman.
Puig was hit by a pitch in the face in the sixth inning, but remained in the game. When the benches cleared for the second time an inning later, he was in the middle of the melee, delivering a roundhouse punch to the back of reserve infielder Eric Hinske’s head.
Puig was ejected.
On Wednesday, Puig cut short batting practice and disappeared into the clubhouse. Soon after, the Dodgers announced he was scratched from the lineup.
Puig didn’t speak to reporters.
With Puig out, the Dodgers started Alex Castellanos in his place in right field. Jerry Hairston Jr. batted cleanup.
In his first nine major league games, Puig batted .471 with four home runs and 10 runs batted in.
Rumble down under?
The Dodgers will open the 2014 regular season in Australia.
The games will be the first games of the Major League Baseball season and first regular-season games played in Australia.
The two-game series will be played March 22-23 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which will be renovated to a baseball configuration.
The Diamondbacks will be designated the home team for both games. The Dodgers are expected to play their 2014 home opener March 31.
The Dodgers are scheduled play their final spring-training game March 16 and depart for Sydney that evening. Before facing the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers will play an Australian team in an exhibition game.
The games in Australia are part of MLB’s continuing efforts to expand its brand globally.
Six previous MLB seasons have opened outside of the United States, with Japan (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012), Mexico (1999) and Puerto Rico (2001) playing host to games.
Dodgers reliever Peter Moylan is from Australia and is one of 31 major league players the country has produced. Australia has a baseball league that started in 2010.
Catcher A.J. Ellis was scheduled to travel with the Dodgers to Pittsburgh and is expected to be activated Friday. … The Dodgers signed their first two picks from the recently completed draft, pitchers Chris Anderson and Tom Windle. Anderson, 20, will be paid a $2.1-million signing bonus. Windle, 21, signed for about $970,000.
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