When Van Slyke was unable to swing a bat last week, the Dodgers added Puig to the initial postseason roster, even though he had played only two games after missing five weeks with a right hamstring strain. Van Slyke injured his wrist in early September, but after returning, he re-injured it in San Francisco the last week of the regular season.
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Ruggiano earned a roster spot with his production against left-handed pitching during Puig's absence.
Puig and Ruggiano have appeared in three games in the NLDS, including starts in Game 4 against Mets left-hander Steven Matz, but neither has made an impact offensively. Puig is 0-for-6 with three strikeouts and Ruggiano is 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Based on the small sample of recent play, manager Don Mattingly seems to favor Ruggiano's bat and Puig's defense, indicating repeatedly that Puig was rusty because of his injury.
The only left-handed starter used by the Mets was Matz. The Cubs' rotation includes Jon Lester. Against Lester, Puig is 1-for-2 with a walk, Ruggiano is 2-for-3 and Van Slyke has never faced him. Left-handed hitting corner outfielders Carl Crawford is 10-for-36 with 10 strikeouts against Lester and Andre Ethier is 2-for-4. Against Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, Puig is 2-for-3 with a double, Ruggiano is 1-for-2 and Van Slyke has never faced him.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.