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Dodgers start Yasiel Puig in center field for first time this season

Photo: Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Searching for an every day center fielder, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly penciled usual right fielder Yasiel Puig in at center for Friday night's game in San Francisco — his first start there this season.

Puig is returning after a three-game absence following a hand injury.

Mattingly wouldn't commit to Puig starting in center field long-term.

"It could be a day. It could be a week. It could be forever," Mattingly said. "We don't know."

Matt Kemp started in right field and Carl Crawford in left.

"With this combination of players, this has a chance of being our best outfield," said Mattingly, adding that he and the team's coaches stressed the importance of communication in center field to Puig.

Mattingly said earlier in the week that he hadn't tried Puig in center yet because he's "out of control most of the time" and "he scares the other outfielders" with his aggressiveness.

Kemp has also made it clear through his agent, Dave Stewart, that he wants to return to center.

- Chris Mascaro

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