Yasiel Puig continued dominating National League pitching as he contributed four hits in his first four at-bats this afternoon, falling a home run short of the cycle. He had an opportunity to wrap it up in the bottom of the eighth, but struck out against Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus. Behind a strong start from Stephen Fife, the Dodgers handily defeated the Phillies in the finale of a four-game series in which, despite a historic 16-1 loss on Friday, they looked like the better team.
Puig bumped his slash line up to .436/.467/.713 through his first 26 games, making the debate about his All-Star candidacy all the more interesting. He’ll have two more weeks to pad his stats while fans will have two more weeks to run his campaign.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.