Roberts sees Puig as primary right fielder

With Pederson in center, players will compete for time in left

Roberts sees Puig as primary right fielder

PHOENIX -- There are enough outfielders on the Dodgers roster to platoon at any of the three spots, but manager Dave Roberts' perfect world apparently would have Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig playing regularly in center and right, respectively.

"We all know Yasiel as a defender; if he's out there he can impact a game on the defensive side," said Roberts. "Now you look at at-bat quality vs. right or left. If it's consistent, there should be no reason why he wouldn't be out there virtually every day. Yasiel is very motivated, he wants to do what's best for the club. I expect him to play a lot.

"When we platoon it's about the personnel. Yasmani [Grandal] didn't hit lefties that well, so it made sense to get somebody else in there. Chase [Utley], the same thing. Do I see Joc getting more at-bats against left-handers? Absolutely. But that will be dictated on the at-bat quality."

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Pederson had a .918 OPS against right-handed pitching but only .469 against lefties. Puig's differential was only .784 against lefties compared to .715 against righties.

Outlook: Pederson, CF, LAD

Although left field initially appears to be Andrew Toles' position to lose, Andre Ethier is the most proven commodity off the bench, assuming he returns healthy from a broken right leg.

Franklin Gutierrez was signed more for his right-handed bat than his former Gold Glove, but he could earn added playing time with production.

If Roberts chooses to platoon, he said that's not a decision to make at this time.

"The players have bought in and understand the thought process of doing what's best to win that game, that night," he said. "I can't appease everybody that wants the consistency of a set lineup. We're going to do what it takes to win that game."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.