By Jon Weisman
Yasiel Puig remains listed on the Dodger lineup card as a reserve, but for the seventh straight game, he is not starting.
Puig’s last start came July 20 at Washington. He then had a scheduled off day July 21 but came off the bench and felt tightness in his right hamstring while trying to beat out a hit in his only at-bat of the game.
He has made one pinch-hitting appearance since, on July 22. Counting Thursday’s off day, Puig has been out of action for six days entering tonight’s game.
The 25-year-old has a .384 on-base percentage and .412 slugging percentage in 99 plate appearances since returning June 21 from a stint on the disabled list because of his left hamstring.
Andrew Toles, profiled Thursday by J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News, is starting for the fifth time in seven games since Puig’s last start. Toles is 9 for 31 with three walks for a .353 on-base percentage in the first 34 plate appearances of his Major League career.
Three Dodgers played minor-league rehab games Thursday, most notably Brett Anderson, who in his first official professional game action since back surgery in March, pitched three innings in an efficient 36 pitches for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, allowing five hits, walking none and striking out one.
According to Ron Cervenka of Think Blue L.A., Anderson threw an additional 19 pitches in the bullpen before calling it a night.
“It was good to get up and down three times,” Anderson said after his outing. “Some weird plays and circumstances and stuff that you’d rather deal with now with a guy going down in the outfield and delays and stuff that probably doesn’t happen in the big leagues. And then fielding my position in the first inning and getting some of those plays out of the way, and getting back to pitching and worrying about pitching rather than how my body is feeling and this, that and the other, and focusing on getting outs and getting my pitches back to where I want them and all that sort of stuff.”
The delay that Anderson was referring to was an on-field injury to one of the High Desert Mavericks players in the bottom half of the first inning that added an additional 10 minutes to his between inning time, and his fielding-his-position comment was about a comebacker that he fielded when it had been agreed upon before his start that he would (try to) avoid such plays.
In addition, Kiké Hernandez played a full game at second base for Double-A Tulsa, on a night in which Yimi Garcia made his fifth rehab appearance since July 16. Hernandez went 0 for 4, while Garcia, who pitched two shutout innings July 25, allowed three runs in a third of an inning.