By Jon Weisman
Yasiel Puig is out of today’s starting lineup for the third straight game with a left hamstring problem, and though Dave Roberts told reporters that the right fielder is available to pinch-hit, Scott Van Slyke is also just about ready to come off the disabled list — so there is speculation that they might switch places.
Though Puig has struggled offensively (.646 OPS, .283 weighted on-base average), his improvement defensively is largely responsible for the Dodger outfield emerging as the most improved in baseball, according to Mike Petriello of MLB.com. Fangraphs ranks Puig fourth among National League right fielders in overall defense, and he is first in defensive runs saved.
Van Slyke is 7 for 31 with a double, a home run, three walks and six strikeouts in his eight minor-league rehab games. He also stole a base Thursday.