5/6/2014 7:39 P.M. ET
Mattingly gives Gonzalez night off vs. Nats
By Jeff Seidel / Special to MLB.com
WASHINGTON -- First baseman Adrian Gonzalez wasn't in the starting lineup on Tuesday, as manager Don Mattingly wanted to give the veteran a little break.
Mattingly said he spoke with Gonzalez about a day off in recent days. The timing could help the first baseman, who was mired in an 0-for-15 slump.
Gonzalez went 0-for-4 in Monday's loss with a strikeout and found out after that game that he'd be out Tuesday.
Mattingly said that Gonzalez wasn't hurt, just getting a break.
"He's good," Mattingly said. "I could see him getting tired. When I talked to him about it, I could tell he wasn't fighting me."
Gonzalez is 5-for-28 on the road trip and is tied for second in the National League with nine homers and tied for third with 25 RBIs.
Puig says he's ready to return after headaches
WASHINGTON -- Yasiel Puig wasn't in the Dodgers starting lineup for a second straight game on Tuesday, but made it clear when talking to the media before the game against the Nationals that he's feeling much better and is available if manager Don Mattingly needs him.
"I feel good," Puig said through an interpreter Tuesday. "My head's not bothering me anymore. My head doesn't hurt like it did yesterday."
Puig was shaken up at the end of Sunday's loss in Miami, violently crashing into the wall in right field and then needing help to get up and off the field.
Mattingly held him out of Monday's starting lineup and didn't play him throughout the long evening, which resulted in a 4-0 loss. But Puig said he's doing much better now.
"I feel good," Puig said. "If the team needs me to play, I'll play."
Puig is available if Mattingly wants to use him in a double-switch situation or as a pinch-hitter. Puig said that his shoulder was sore from the collision, but after a couple of swings today, "It feels better."
Puig did pregame field work with the rest of the team, going through drills and batting practice.
Mattingly said the Dodgers were still watching and checking Puig to make sure he's alright. Mattingly noted how hard Puig plays and, while he wants the young outfielder to be careful, the skipper doesn't want him to change what he does.
"Guys play; they play to win," Mattingly said. "That's why I think people get gravitated toward Yasiel -- because of the passion, [and] how hard he goes. I don't want him to run aimlessly into a wall, but I think when guys play the game, they want to make a great play [to help the team win]."
Dodgers deciding when Greinke makes next start
WASHINGTON -- One of the questions facing manager Don Mattingly in the coming days is when Zack Greinke will take the mound again.
Greinke, usually an innings-eater, was limited to just three innings in Monday's 4-0 loss because of the 3-hour, 17-minute rain delay. That short outing might have opened the door for him to pitch on a different schedule -- as Greinke usually goes every fifth day.
Mattingly said on Tuesday that Greinke and the coaching staff have been talking about when Greinke would make his next start, but it's still a process that needs to be worked out.
"We have talked to him a little bit," Mattingly said. "He's lobbying. There's some conversations going [on] about possibly doing some different thing."
• The Dodgers sent right-hander Pedro Baez to Double-A Chattanooga, in order to make room for starter Clayton Kershaw. Baez made his Major League debut on Monday night, giving up two runs on two hits in one inning.
• Brandon League threw two scoreless innings in Monday's loss. He's now gone 13 innings without allowing an earned run, while opposing hitters are batting just .190 versus him.
• Matt Kemp continued his run against the Nationals on Monday night. Kemp went 2-for-4, getting a hit for the eighth straight game versus Washington. Kemp's also gotten hits in 15 of the last 16 contests.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.