But with only a three-game series in Baltimore, the club decided to keep the Cuban sensation at Double-A Chattanooga.
Mattingly said that calling up Puig to "light a fire" would "feel like panic." And in NL games, Puig wouldn't start ahead of corner outfielders Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier. Mattingly also indicated he doesn't consider Puig a natural fit for center field, where the struggling Matt Kemp starts.
He added that when decisions like this are made on a young player still in development, "it involves a group decision ... not by-the-Major-League-manager decision."
"We don't know," he said. "You could give him a year and a half in the Minors and he could still fall on his face. You just don't know."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.