Yasiel Puig’s fundamentals have been the topic du jour in the media recently, leading to some saying that he should be taught a lesson for his mistakes. Hyperbole aside, teammates are lending some advice to the Cuban phenom.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Jerry Hairston Jr. said that a number of veterans spoke to Puig this week in an effort to get him to cut down on his mistakes. He described it as essentially their way of saying, “Hey, that’s enough,” and that such mistakes could prove costly during the postseason.
“A lot of things are happening to him,” Hairston said. “He’s a superstar at 22. He’s in a new country, a new culture. We are sensitive to that.
“But if you¹re going to be a great player, you’ve got to do the little things. That’s how you win. That’s the key.”
While Puig’s arrival has been a boon for the surging Dodgers, he has received some criticism for routinely making baserunning mistakes and missing the cutoff man. He was also fined earlier this week after arriving late to the ballpark.
For what it’s worth, Hairston said Puig was receptive to the advice and that he has noticed improvement since. It’s easy to forget that the 22-year-old outfielder has only been in the U.S. for a little over a year and played a grand total of 63 games in the minors before being making his major league debut in June, so the Dodgers should absolutely do what they can to make him a better player and teammate. But that doesn’t change the fact that most of this controversy has lacked perspective.
Free agent closer Mark Melancon is entertaining at least two offers in the four-year, $60+ million ballpark, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The teams thought to be in the running are the Giants and Nationals, with the Giants having a slight edge due to their strong interest in him last summer (per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick).
Crasnick also said that while the Giants are keeping tabs on the top three free agent closers this winter, the other two being Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman, they’re leaning toward Melancon as a (slightly) more affordable option in the ‘pen. It’s worth noting that Melancon would not cost the Giants a draft pick if they decided to sign him.
Melancon had an outstanding season in 2016, nearly reaching career-best numbers with a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and 5.42 K/BB rate in 71 1/3 innings split between the Pirates and Nationals’ bullpens. The veteran right-hander earned his third career All-Star distinction after stifling opposing hitters with a 1.23 ERA and 7.9 K/9 rate in the first half, and went on to appear in his fourth consecutive playoff run.
Despite the Giants’ apparent lead in the bidding for Melancon, Rosenthal mentioned a third mystery team who might throw their hat in the ring as well. No clubs have been name-dropped as of yet.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.