Don Mattingly questions Yasiel Puig

Updated: March 23, 2014, 5:37 PM ET
By Mark Saxon |

SYDNEY -- The Los Angeles Dodgers won their first two games of the season, sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia, but there were signs of some discord before the team jetted back to Los Angeles.

Yasiel Puig struck out in the ninth inning of Sunday's 7-5 win and then did not return to right field in the bottom half of the inning. Before the game, Mattingly told reporters that Puig "grabs something every time he takes a swing and misses."

Asked what injury caused Puig to leave Sunday's game, Mattingly said, "I guess his back." He then seemed to react sarcastically when asked about the severity of the injury.

"Shoulder yesterday, back today, so I'm not sure if they're going to get him tests or get him to the MRI Monday or a bone scan on Tuesday, maybe," Mattingly said. "I'm not quite sure what we'll do. We may not do anything. I'm not sure."

Puig, who batted .122 in spring training, busted out of his slump by going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs Sunday, but he also made decisions that turned into two ridiculous outs on the bases. Puig dashed for second on his RBI single in the third inning. Dee Gordon was held at third base, and Puig was thrown out easily. When a ball trickled away from catcher Miguel Montero in the sixth, Puig broke for third and was out by 10 feet.

"It was a rough day," Mattingly said.

After the first base running gaffe, Adrian Gonzalez grabbed Puig as he was leaving the field and talked to him. The two players were bantering loudly in Spanish in the Dodgers' clubhouse following the game.

"Anything that we would do with Yasiel wouldn't be something I would talk to you all about," Mattingly said.

Puig showed up to spring training 26 pounds heavier than he had been at the end of last season, something Mattingly said wasn't necessarily a problem but would bear watching. Mattingly twice benched Puig for disciplinary reasons last season.

Mark Saxon
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for 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.



Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.