When Carl Crawford came off of the disabled list at any other time in his career, he would certainly have been right back in the starting line-up that day. That wasn’t the case for the Los Angeles Dodgers first game back with Crawford healthy. He, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig were told by Don Mattingly that they are all now in a giant outfield platoon where each game one of them will sit. Is it a good or bad move? I say it is genius.
Let’s take care of the elephant in the room first. Puig is not sitting as long as he keeps killing the ball day in and day out. Or to quote Mattingly, “As long as Yasiel Puig keeps putting up three hits a game, he’ll play.” I love that move by Mattingly. No matter how much tenure one of the guys has, he has to produce to play. Wow, what a gutsy move. I love it.
Kemp was the benefactor as well. He had homered in two straight games so he started the next game. It is a system that won’t favor anyone. They can get themselves in the line-up by producing hits and runs. That is the most brilliantly simple decision I have ever heard. Obviously everyone knew that the awesome rookie Puig wasn’t going anywhere so how could it be handled better than this?
Even Puig isn’t immune from this. If he hits a skid, he hits the bench for a game or two. It not only makes sure that the guys will battle for playing time at least for the rest of this season but also gives a dangerous man on the bench each game. It’s is the best solution for a tough situation and will surely keep the Dodgers on the move in the NL West.