Yasiel Puig Mania will have to take a night off.
According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, the young outfielder has been scratched from the Dodgers’ starting lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Diamondbacks due to soreness in his right shoulder. Puig was penciled in to hit cleanup for the third straight game but he took one round of pregame batting practice and then left the field with a trainer.
Alex Castellanos will start in right field against Arizona lefty Patrick Corbin, who is 9-0 with a 1.98 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 81 2/3 innings this season. Puig is available to run and can maybe pinch-hit, so he should be allowed to return to action on Friday night after Thursday’s scheduled team off day.
The 22-year-old Cuban defector has batted .471/.500/.882 with four home runs and 10 RBI over his first nine major league games. He was plunked in the nose by an Ian Kennedy pitch on Tuesday night and was loosely involved in the benches-clearing brawl that happened one inning later.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.