Puig says he’s on Dodgers’ playoff roster for NLDS
LOS ANGELES — Yasiel Puig said Wednesday he’s on the playoff roster for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who haven’t revealed their 25-man squad for the upcoming NL Division Series.
Manager Don Mattingly said players were informed of their status for the best-of-five series against the New York Mets beginning Friday at Dodger Stadium. However, the team will wait until the roster is due that morning to announce it.
Puig missed the final month of the regular season while sidelined with a hamstring injury. He returned last week and played in the last two games, starting and getting a hit in the first one.
The Cuban said he feels good and wants to give himself a chance to be productive off the bench.
"I’m very happy I’ve been given the opportunity to prepare with the team," Puig said through a translator.
His season was marred by two stints on the disabled list, which limited him to 79 games. He is hitting .255, with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs.
Puig is making his third consecutive playoff appearance since becoming a sensation upon being called up by the Dodgers in June 2013. Last season, he hit .250 with four runs scored, a triple and an RBI in the NLDS, where the Dodgers lost in four games to St. Louis.
The Dodgers likely had an easier time deciding to go with Puig because outfielder Scott Van Slyke is hurt. He didn’t join in a workout Wednesday because of his right wrist, which hasn’t responded quickly enough.
Van Slyke got hurt on Sept. 15 and came back five days later only to reinjure his wrist last week while taking a throw at first base. He was hitting .239 with 6 homers and 30 RBIs.
With Andre Ethier expected to start in right field, Puig and Justin Ruggiano will back him up. Ruggiano hit a combined .248 with six homers and 15 RBIs with Seattle and then the Dodgers this season.
"This is a time of no egos," Mattingly said. "It’s all about one thing and that’s walking out of here with a `W’ on Friday. It’s not about who is the star."
Mattingly said reliever Jim Johnson was sent home. The right-hander was 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA and didn’t figure in the team’s postseason plans.
The Dodgers boast baseball’s highest payroll at $289.6 million — $66 million more than the second-place Yankees, who were eliminated in the AL wild-card game Tuesday.
Although expectations have risen along with the team’s payroll, Mattingly said there’s no connection between payroll and playoff success.
"What guys make doesn’t have anything to do with how you perform," he said.