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.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.