Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
We knew this was coming yesterday, but now it is official: Yasiel Puig has been sent to the minors, per the press release of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Notably, the press release does not say which minor league club he is being sent to. Until we hear otherwise we’ll assume Triple-A Oklahoma City but, really, who knows?
As we have noted several times in recent weeks, Puig has had flashes of superstardom and still has the potential to be star, but it’s obvious that his development has stalled. Injuries are a part of that but not all of it and he has declined in each of the past three years. He’s hitting .260/.320/.386 with only seven homers on the year and is on pace for his worst season as a big leaguer. He has improved a tick since his most recent stint on the disabled list, but not enough for the Dodger brass. Yesterday’s acquisition of Josh Reddick, a better hitter and healthier player, was an acknowledgment that the Dodgers think they can win the NL West this year and that Puig in right field is not the best way to accomplish it.
The Dodgers tried to trade Puig yesterday, but if they had done so, it certainly would’ve been a case of selling low. Assuming Puig reports to Oklahoma City with a good attitude and a desire to play his way back to the bigs, he should be successful against minor league competition. If so, he’ll be a more attractive candidate for a trade after clearing waivers, which he likely will given that he is owed $17 million.
Earlier today we wrote about the apparent winding down of Alex Rodriguez’s career and the buzz about the Yankees possibly releasing him before the end of the season. Today, when the Yankees’ clubhouse opened, he was asked about that.
If you think this was going to be controversial, think again. A-Rod seems to know what time it is. He’s pretty zen about it all, actually:
He also said that he thinks of himself as a teacher, suggesting that he has opened his mind to coaching. Or, given his business pursuits, doing something completely different.
Like we said earlier today: not the sort of way you figured his time in baseball would end, if indeed it is ending. No raging against the dying of the light. No scandal. Just an old player accepting that, yeah, he’s an old player.
We’re watching the end of a legendary and remarkable career, folks. In every sense of those terms.
Good news and bad news out of Cleveland. The good news: Danny Salazar, who noted last night that he’s been having elbow discomfort, had an MRI today that ruled out structural damage. Bad news: he has inflammation and is being placed on the 15-day disabled list. Brandon Guyer, who the Tribe acquired from the Rays yesterday, has assumed Salazar’s spot on the 25-man roster.
Salazar is expected to miss 2-3 weeks. It’s a big blow for the Indians, as Salazar has been having a fantastic year. The All-Star is 11-4 with a 3.38 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 133/51 in 117.1 innings. He’s been really wobbly his last couple of starts, however, and says that his elbow has been bothering him since before the All-Star break.