Could Kemp's return cost Puig field time?

August, 27, 2013
8/27/13
6:08
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- The first time Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had to fit four outfielders into three spots, he indicated that Yasiel Puig would be the hardest to take out of his lineup. Puig was batting .369 at the time.

Now, with Matt Kemp likely to return next week and Puig in a two-week slump, Mattingly indicated he could try to spot the rookie outfielder a few more days off here and there. Puig is batting .220 with two home runs and four RBIs in his past 16 games.

"I think, sometimes, he gets a little tired," Mattingly said. "He may not think that, but I just think mentally, sometimes, he gets more down. This is probably the most games he's played in a while, and it's pretty intense.

"Obviously, he gets quite a bit of attention, so everything he does he's had to be questioned about, and he's been really good. Mentally, sometimes I see him looking a little tired."

Mattingly could have some egos to juggle in the final month of the season, with Kemp saying Tuesday he still views himself as the team's every-day center fielder. Andre Ethier has played center since Kemp has been out and Ethier has emerged as one of the Dodgers' steadiest contributors. He is batting .296 with a .388 on-base percentage since he moved to center field.

Here are lineups for Tuesday night's game with the Chicago Cubs:

Chicago
1. Starlin Castro SS
2. Darwin Barney 2B
3. Dioner Navarro C
4. Donnie Murphy 3B
5. Junior Lake CF
6. Cody Ransom 1B
7. Darnell McDonald LF
8. Cole Gillespie RF
9. Travis Wood LHP

Dodgers
1. Carl Crawford LF
2. Yasiel Puig RF
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Hanley Ramirez SS
5. Mark Ellis 2B
6. Andre Ethier CF
7. Juan Uribe 3B
8. A.J. Ellis C
9. Clayton Kershaw LHP

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.296 16 69 92
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
WC. Kershaw 21
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239