Yasiel Puig returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday after a one-month stint at Triple-A Oklahoma City, going 2-for-4 in a 4-2 loss to the visiting San Diego Padres.
Roberts and Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, first discussed bringing Puig back with a handful of veteran players.
“They must’ve had a tough time picking player of the game, because there was a lot of guys you could make a case for,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Just a reminder what guys have been doing most of the year and what we’re capable of.”
Of course, facing rookie Chad Green is a whole lot different than facing a Toronto rotation that’s been the best in the AL. Particularly when you consider that Green might not have been at full strength. After he exited the game in the second inning, the Yankees announced that the 25-year-old righty was experiencing elbow pain. Not that the Orioles were going to let medical minutia mitigate their postgame buzz.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner is expected to throw 50 pitches and three innings against Modesto in a minor league rehab outing as he tries to return to the major leagues at some point this month.
Kershaw has been out since June 26 with a lower-back injury, and it is possible he could return to the Dodgers on the club’s next road trip, which starts next Friday and takes the team to Miami, Yankee Stadium and Arizona.
Depending on when he returns, Kershaw could make as many as four starts with the Dodgers down the stretch. And if the club lines up the starts just right, two of them could come against the division rival San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers are in first place in the National League West, two games ahead of the Giants, after Los Angeles’ 4-2 loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
Rancho Cucamonga has been a popular landing spot for rehabbing Dodgers players this season. Los Angeles has put a record-tying 27 players on the disabled list this season.
Dodgers players who have made appearances for the Quakes this season include: Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Scott Van Slyke, Enrique Hernandez, Howie Kendrick, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, Bud Norris, Casey Fien, Josh Ravin and Adam Liberatore.
Anderson also will pitch in Saturday’s game for the Quakes, as he is scheduled to take the mound after Kershaw departs. Anderson is trying to return from a blister issue that has him on the disabled list.
“If they said that they didn’t want him, I would have been surprised,” Roberts said. “They know the character of Yasiel and what he can bring to help us win baseball games and that’s the ultimate goal. I certainly would have been surprised if they had nixed the idea.”