LOS ANGELES -- With no desire to put Yasiel Puig back into a major league lineup against the Washington Nationals' scheduled starter, Stephen Strasburg, the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to delay their outfielder's return from the disabled list.
Puig was given at least one more day on the sideline as he recovers from a hamstring injury that had kept him out of action for the previous 15 days.
"We had him scheduled for today but I think it's to give him that extra day," manager Dave Roberts said Monday. "The matchup with Strasburg, he's tough, so it's to give him an extra day and also to get Trayce [Thompson] and Howie [Kendrick] back in there with that continuity. I felt that that was the right thing to do."
Puig got off to a red-hot start in the season's first week but has cooled considerably ever since. In 53 games this season, he is batting just .237, with a .283 on-base percentage and a .360 slugging percentage. He had five home runs and 20 RBIs before he was sidelined.
Thompson has basically been an every-day player since Puig went down, although he has yet to establish a set position in the outfield, bouncing around among the three positions.
Kendrick, who has played left field when he has not been on the infield, is starting to come around offensively after a slow start. He had a hit in each of his previous six games entering Monday, going 8-for-18 (.444) over that stretch, with a home run and three walks. He added a double in his three at-bats and scored Monday.
Roberts already has suggested that upon Puig's return, the Dodgers finally will have more of a set outfield for the first time this season. With Puig back in right field, Thompson figures to see regular playing time in left field. Joc Pederson will man center field.