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Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Yasiel Puig not starting again

By Mark Saxon
ESPNLosAngeles.com

WASHINGTON -- Yasiel Puig was in a jovial mood as he spoke with reporters Tuesday, saying he would be available as a pinch hitter or as part of a double switch if the Los Angeles Dodgers choose to play him in Tuesday's game with the Washington Nationals.

He was not in the starting lineup for a second straight day following a hard collision with an outfield wall in Miami.

Puig said he no longer has any pain in his head and that he has watched a replay of himself hitting the wall, nearly catching what turned out to be Jeff Baker's game-winning double.

"Yeah, I saw it, but every time I see it, it hurts more," Puig joked.

The Dodgers administered concussion tests to Puig on Sunday, the day of the collision, and also on Monday. On Tuesday, they had him go through baseball activities -- running, taking batting practice and shagging fly balls -- while closely monitoring him. They decided against a CT scan to look for bleeding on the brain after consulting with a physician and detecting no signs of a concussion, but they are exercising an extra level of caution by not starting him again. He might start Wednesday's game.

"I'm sure he's sore, but that's not what we're worried about, I don't think," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We're just making sure he's OK."

Someone asked Puig if he had any confusion in the wake of the collision and he looked around the visiting clubhouse and quipped, "No, I recognize everyone, so I'm fine."

Another reporter asked him whether he needed to exercise more caution around walls. He has had several painful meetings with outfield fences since coming up last June, including missing a game with a bruised hip after hitting one in Colorado last summer.

Puig suggested the reporter accompany him to the outfield next time.

"Once I run and get started, it's hard for somebody to stop me," Puig said. "Instead of spending the game up in the press box, why don't you come out there and tell me where the wall is when I'm going back."

Puig's relentless, fast-paced style has been an issue for the Dodgers since he came up. Generally, they have allowed him to play at his own pace, but they have talked to him at times about exercising a tad more caution. He no longer throws as wildly into the infield, usually keeping his throws low enough for another player to cut off.

"I think guys play and they play to win. That's why people gravitate toward Yasiel, because of how hard he goes," Mattingly said. "Do I want him to get hurt? No, I don't want him to wander aimlessly into a wall, but guys play and he almost made a great play."