Monday, June 03, 2013

It's All About The Puig

Like a carnival show whose ferris wheel has equipment failure, whose elephants have pulled trunk muscles, and whose clowns are admirably trying to fill in for daring trapeze acts, the circus that is the Los Angeles Dodgers is now playing one of the few cards it has left: trotting out the physical freak show specimen that is minor-league player Yasiel Puig:

DENVER -- Out of necessity, if not urgency, Dodgers management will reluctantly promote Cuban outfield sensation Yasiel Puig to the Major Leagues on Monday -- a move they announced after Sunday's 7-2 loss to the Rockies.

General manager Ned Colletti made the announcement. With Matt Kemp on the disabled list and Carl Crawford nursing a hamstring cramp, manager Don Mattingly was scrambling for a healthy outfielder. Matt Magill, Sunday's losing pitcher, will return to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room for Puig prior to Monday's opener against the Padres at Dodger Stadium.

There's no need to make room for Puig in the outfield. Followers of Minor League prospects have clamored for the 22-year-old's arrival, but with an All-Star outfield of Kemp, Crawford and Andre Ethier, the only way that would have happened this soon is if many things went wrong.

And many things have gone wrong for the last-place Dodgers this year. Puig will start immediately, probably in center field, although Mattingly said he wouldn't reveal that until he first talks to Puig, the organization's top prospect, according to

"It's not a bad thing from what we saw in Spring Training," Mattingly said of the promotion. "Before, how would we get him in the lineup? That's not a factor for me now. You don't want him to sit. The fact that we'll play him and he'll get at-bats makes it a lot easier for me."

Meanwhile, Puig has made like Superman this year, dominating Major League Spring Training in unprecedented fashion for a Dodgers position player, then continuing his stellar play at Double-A Chattanooga, where he hit .313 with eight homers, 12 doubles, three triples, 37 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 40 games. He has 29 strikeouts and 15 walks.

In Spring Training, Puig didn't have any walks in 58 at-bats, but he hit .517 in 27 games. He hit five doubles, two triples and three home runs, driving in 11 runs.

"You don't want to build him up to where it's impossible for him to live up to all the hype," cautioned Mattingly. "In my mind, he's still a young player, obviously with huge potential.

"There's still so much baseball, and I don't say that in a flippant way that these games don't matter. But you saw with the Angels and Mike Trout last year, he came up and things completely turned around with what he brought to the table. It's unfair to say that happens here, but he could make a big impact."

Puig's only hiccup this year -- and one that was no surprise to those who have seen him drive -- was an arrest for driving 97 mph in a 50-mph zone.

He will wear the No. 66 he had in Spring Training.

I'm just as excited to see Puig as the next guy. But one can't look at this move and not only be terrified with bringing up such a raw talent, but also extremely disappointed at the way the Dodgers have performed this year. Trying to put the righting of the Dodgers' ship on Puig's shoulders certainly seems like a big thing to ask.


Dusty Baker said...

This enormous Puig will devour us all!

Paul said...

This doesn't have confusion, disaster and disappointment written all over it. Unless he has been called up to destroy Carlos Quentin. Then that's cool.

MR.F said...

I, for one, welcome our now Puigan overlord.

BJ Killeen said...

This will either be the highest high or the lowest low...And if he's great, it just shows that the fans know more than Donnie.

karen said...

Dusty and I both already have Pugs. This will be fine.

We also can trade for Cody Ross for our circus. He wants to be a rodeo clown. How much difference can there be?

spank said...


Dusty Baker said...


I had just assumed you were saying that twice for emphasis and effect.

spank said...

@ Dusty

that's why i left both posts up. it has a nice look to it.

MR.F said...

Quentin eats his own shit. He's a one-man human centipede.

Dusty Baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.