7/13/2014 3:11 A.M. ET
Crawford looks to join center-field mix
By Michael Lananna and Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Andre Ethier was back in center field Saturday after missing back-to-back starts with general soreness. However, Ethier might have some competition for the position going forward.
Though Ethier has been the Dodgers' primary center fielder this season -- starting 49 games there -- Mattingly said Scott Van Slyke will continue to get starts in center, and left fielder Carl Crawford has started taking fly balls there, as well.
"The way we are right now -- Scott's been swinging the bat well; Dre had a really good second half last year; Carl's going to mess around in center field, taking fly balls," Mattingly said. "So we'll continue to try to do the best we can out there."
Mattingly said Crawford, who came off of the disabled list Thursday after missing 40 games with a left ankle sprain, took fly balls in center field on his own. With Matt Kemp now firmly entrenched as the everyday left fielder, Crawford hasn't started since his return.
"He just kind of went out there on his own," Mattingly said. "I know he played there in the minor leagues, and they kind of moved him in Tampa. I think with our situation, Carl going out there and taking fly balls, you never know what can happen. So I encouraged him to do a little work out there."
Though Crawford doesn't possess a strong throwing arm, Mattingly said he thinks Crawford could still play center field capably.
"I think out there, how many guys do you see thrown out really?" Mattingly said. "It's going to be more about range and getting to balls, and Carl still runs really well. I think metrically he's been pretty good in left field when he's played left, so he's a guy who will run the ball down for you.
"There's all different ways to make adjustments in the outfield. It's about using the tools you have, and he has enough tools to do some things."
With Kemp in left, the Dodgers don't have a true, prototypical center fielder. But Mattingly said he doesn't think that will hurt the team as it looks to make a playoff run.
"We've been doing it all year, so I don't know why we can't continue to do it," he said. "We play in a lower-scoring environment now, kind of regularly. We have to continue to improve, as far as not giving away extra outs and being as good as we can possibly be.
"This is our team, and we can be good enough to win it all like this."
Name-calling earns Puig his second ejection
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers All-Star outfielder Yasiel Puig was ejected in the third inning of Saturday night's 1-0 win over the Padres for calling plate umpire David Rackley "stupid" following his inning-ending strikeout on three consecutive called strikes.
After taking strike two against Ian Kennedy, Puig put his right hand on his hip and demonstratively stared at the plate. The scene repeated itself after the third strike.
Then Puig and Rackley exchanged a few words. First-base coach Davey Lopes tried to intervene, but by the time he arrived at the plate Puig insulted the umpire and was ejected.
Manager Don Mattingly came out to talk to Rackley, but didn't defend Puig after the game when asked if Rackley's ejection was too quick.
"No, I think there's certain things you can't do, and that was one of those," Mattingly said. "I could tell that [Rackley] was trying to give [Puig] a chance, because [Puig] kind of really starts there twice with his hands on his hips, and usually guys don't put up with that too much. But [Rackley] was trying to walk away, and he actually was walking away, and then when [Puig] threw the magical words out there, that was it."
Puig upset umpires during last year's National League Championship Series, leading to an exchange on the field before Game 6 between MLB executive Joe Torre and Dodgers president Stan Kasten. Umpires had complained to Torre that in Game 5 Puig was called out on strikes by plate umpire Ted Barrett and stood in the batter's box, left hand on hip, staring at Barrett.
The ejection by Rackley was Puig's second career ejection. He was replaced in the outfield by Carl Crawford.
Dodgers set second-half rotation
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced his second-half rotation Saturday.
Right-hander Dan Haren will get the ball when the season resumes on Friday in St. Louis. He'll be followed by right-hander Zack Greinke, left-handers Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu, and the fifth starter will be determined later, depending on the health of injured right-hander Josh Beckett.
"We planned our rotation to kind of give everyone maximum rest after the break and using the break for that and just looking forward into our schedule and how we're trying to match everybody up," Mattingly said.
Mattingly said he's been in contact with National League manager Mike Matheny (Cardinals) regarding the usage of Greinke and Kershaw in Tuesday's All-Star Game. Mattingly said both are good to throw an inning a piece, and Kershaw can throw up to two innings should he be announced as the NL's starter.
As for Beckett, who went on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with left hip impingement, Mattingly said he's hopeful Beckett will be able to return on July 22 and slide into the fifth spot behind Ryu.
"I'm hoping he would be ready for then," Mattingly said. "That would be our wish list, that he would be ready for that fifth day. It gives him a little bit of time here during the break to get to that start."
Turner set to begin rehab assignment
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers infielder Justin Turner was back at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, working in the field as he tries to come back from a left hamstring strain.
Placed on the 15-day disabled list June 29, Turner had been at the team's training facility in Arizona, facing live pitching. Manager Don Mattingly said Turner would DH Sunday in a rehab game for Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Turner said he would play again Monday at Rancho Cucamonga and potentially one more game after that. If all goes well, he hopes to join the Dodgers in St. Louis on Friday for their first game after the All-Star break.
"I don't think it's a matter of [how many] games, it's just trying to get some at-bats," Turner said. "Everything feels good. I took a bunch of at-bats down there, live ABs vs. a couple of young guys down there. But it's a little bit different when you have a cage around you and taking actual ABs. So we'll see how that goes."
Turner, who is hitting .302 in 159 at-bats this season, said he's been hitting the whole time he's been out and now the other pieces of his game are falling back into place.
"Bases was the last thing I had done -- I just did it right now," Turner said before Saturday's game. "Everything went good. Of course you can't really simulate game speed, but I felt like I was as close to 100 percent as I could be."
Michael Lananna is an associate reporter and Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.