Yasiel Puig (thumb) sits vs. Tigers
LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers' polarizing right fielder, is not starting for a second consecutive game because of a strained left thumb ligament suffered when he slid headfirst into first base Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers still list him as day to day, and he is being fitted for a splint to stabilize that area of his hand.
The Dodgers were hopeful the swelling in the area would go down and the discomfort would subside, but when the team released its lineup around 7 p.m. ET for Tuesday's game against the Detroit Tigers, Puig's name was absent again after he sat out Sunday's win over the San Francisco Giants. Puig wore a brace on his left hand during that game and was available to pinch run.
Manager Don Mattingly said before Tuesday's game that he had not heard from trainers whether Puig could be used in a bigger capacity against the Tigers.
"The hand doctor was here today, and they are trying to fit him with a splint and seeing what he can do," Mattingly said. "He's going to throw and hit a little bit [in the batting cage]. He's just going to be day to day for us right now. We'll see where that goes."
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez played with a splint on his right thumb for a good portion of last season after tearing a ligament during the World Baseball Classic, and it did not affect his offensive prowess.
"Hanley was able to do a lot with that [splint] when he had it while he was healing," Mattingly said. "I'm assuming it's similar to that. Some guys are comfortable with something like that and some guys are not. We'll see."
Before the Dodgers took batting practice Tuesday, teammates Juan Uribe and Chone Figgins playfully chided Puig for missing another game. Puig's response was to loudly declare in Spanish that he would be ready to play Wednesday night in the second of two games against the Tigers. When told of Puig's confident claim, Mattingly couldn't keep from chuckling.
"Well, the training staff has something to do with that and I think I still get to write [the lineup] out," Mattingly said. "We are going to do what's best for Yasiel and what's best for this club. I'm glad that he feels good enough to feel like he's going to be ready to play. That's a good sign for us."
The team has tried to break Puig of doing things such as sliding headfirst into first base, but the player, who legendary broadcaster Vin Scully dubbed "The Wild Horse," has yet to adapt. Puig normally wears a brace on his hand when he is on base in case he does such a thing, but he can't wear it while hitting, so it doesn't protect him if he dives into first base.
Anthony Witrado is a contributor to ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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