4/11/2014 9:00 P.M. ET
Mattingly to keep eye on Jansen's workload
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he's more concerned with Kenley Jansen's recent workload than his recent ineffectiveness, implying the former might be responsible for the latter.
Despite throwing harder than last year, Jansen struggled in both Detroit games this week, which Mattingly pointed out brought his appearance total to four straight games (with two off-days). That included Saturday, when he was brought in with a five-run deficit because short starts by Hyun-Jin Ryu and Paul Maholm in back-to-back games left the bullpen to pick up 11 2/3 of 18 innings.
"When the starters don't go deep into games, it gets the bullpen," Mattingly said. "It puts stress on everybody. There's a couple guys we'll pay close attention to."
Mattingly put J.P. Howell in that category with Jansen. But he said a secondary concern with Jansen is his confidence.
"The worry with Kenley is only that his confidence is shaken," Mattingly said. "It's not his stuff -- he's throwing hard -- or what he can do. One thing as a manager, I remember seeing Mariano [Rivera], it's like if he gives it up one night, the next time he's shaky, too. I want Kenley to feel it's just a hiccup. I don't want him to worry about it."
Puig back in lineup after sitting with thumb injury
PHOENIX -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig returned to the starting lineup Friday night after missing three starts with a strained left thumb. Matt Kemp was out of the lineup.
Puig injured the thumb making a head-first slide into first base in the third inning Saturday against the Giants. He stayed in the lineup and finished the game, then underwent an X-ray and MRI and hasn't been in the starting lineup since being diagnosed with a strained thumb ligament.
Puig took early batting practice Friday at Chase Field and did outfield drills, appearing tentative catching line drives in particular.
"We'll see what it looks like tonight," said manager Don Mattingly.
With Puig in right field, Mattingly has Carl Crawford starting in left field and Andre Ethier in center. Puig is 2-for-3 with a homer off Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy. Kemp is 2-for-6.
"They all match up good," said Mattingly. "Part of [the decision] is who's pitching tomorrow [lefty Wade Miley], that tells me who is off tomorrow. At this point I just want to keep everybody sharp."
Kemp figures to return Saturday against Miley (he's 5-for-12 with two homers against him), as does Scott Van Slyke (3-for-9, two homers), with lefties Crawford and Ethier sitting.
Kershaw, Wilson, Billingsley all improving
PHOENIX -- Dodgers pitchers Clayton Kershaw, Brian Wilson and Chad Billingsley, who are all on the 15-day disabled list, continued their recoveries from injuries Friday, but manager Don Mattingly said there isn't a return date set for any of them.
Kershaw was given a light day after significant progress earlier in the week from a strained Teres Major muscle under his left armpit.
Wilson, rebuilding arm strength after a short Spring Training, will pitch in a game Saturday at the club's Camelback Ranch-Glendale complex.
Billingsley reported no further discomfort after a scar tissue episode in a Minor League rehab assignment, but there is no date set for him to resume game action as he returns from Tommy John surgery.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.