Yasiel Puig: Dodgers’ biggest obstacle is St. Louis

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Exactly what role Puig will play in the Dodgers’ fortunes this season remains to be seen. He batted second most of last season, but that was before the Dodgers traded leadoff hitter Dee Gordon and slugger Matt Kemp in December. Puig could easily move up in the lineup and lead off, or move down. Either way, he hasn’t been told. He’s tentatively slotted into right field, taking over for Kemp.“I like playing center field,” he said. “Right field is too small. I’ll play anywhere.”After recently purchasing a house in Southern California, Puig has a plan for how to fill it.“I have a big room in my house,” he said. “I need some Gold Gloves.” Diet suits PedersonIt started last November in the Dominican Republic with a bowl of soup and some fish. It might have been a side dish. Joc Pederson isn’t sure.Whatever it was, something Pederson ate turned on him quickly. He woke up the next day unable to play baseball, took a flight home, and ultimately was unable to return to the Dominican Winter League after playing just 22 games.“I had to meet a bunch of doctor specialists down here,” Pederson said. “They told me I can’t digest gluten or dairy so I haven’t eaten gluten or dairy since, like, Thanksgiving. It’s not really a choice. I wish it was a choice.”Since his season ended, Pederson’s winter has been one of sacrifice. Milk, ice cream, cereal, french fries, hot dogs, candy — the list goes on. The caravan of about 20 Dodgers players who ate lunch at City Hall were served a buffet that included flour tortillas. Pederson later suspected they weren’t gluten-free “because my stomach’s barking a little bit.”The real question for the Dodgers: How will Pederson’s new diet affect his performance on the field? That remains to be seen, but he’ll get a big test soon enough. Manager Don Mattingly recently said that Pederson and Andre Ethier will be part of a competition for the starting center field job in spring training. “I feel better than I did before,” Pederson said. “I’m picking (strength coach) Brandon McDaniel and (farm director) Gabe Kapler’s head about what I can eat, what are good pregame meals that are gluten and dairy-free. Breakfast, pre-workout — it’s all new to me. I’m trying to learn as much as I can about it.”AlsoThe Dodgers announced their 2015 broadcast schedule. The biggest change: 150 games will be televised in Spanish, believed to be the most by any major-league team on their regional sports network. Pepe Yniguez and Fernando Valenzuela will be behind the mic on SportsNet LA. Jaime Jarrin and son Jorge Jarrin will team up on the radio. … The English-language lineup remains intact: Vin Scully will return on SNLA and KLAC (570-AM) while Charley Steiner joins Rick Monday on KLAC and works with Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra on SNLA games in which Scully does not appear. Kevin Kennedy will be the analyst and Monday the play-by-play man on KLAC when Steiner moves into the TV booth.center_img Yasiel Puig believes the Dodgers’ biggest obstacle to a championship isn’t the San Francisco Giants, their hated rivals and defending World Series champions.“We just have to beat St. Louis,” Puig said in Spanish at a Dodgers community caravan stop at Los Angeles’ City Hall on Friday. “If we beat them, we can beat the AL team.“The principal rivals are the Cardinals. It’s not San Francisco. It’s nobody else.”Puig has only been a Dodger for two seasons, but each season ended with a loss to the Cardinals. Maybe he has a point.last_img

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