Tag: Yasiel Puig


Carl Crawford is ready to play, but the Dodgers don’t plan to play him much


Carl Crawford is done rehabbing in the minors and will rejoin the Dodgers after being out since late April with a strained oblique muscle.

Crawford hit .353 with a 1.012 OPS in 10 games during his rehab stint, but Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles writes that manager Don Mattingly’s “plan is to keep the starting outfield intact” and use Crawford sparingly while sticking with Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson, and Yasiel Puig as everyday players.

Early in the season Crawford was the Dodgers’ starting left fielder and Ethier was typically on the bench, but during Crawford’s absence Ethier has hit .282 with eight homers and an .828 OPS in 66 games. By comparison, the last time Crawford topped an .828 OPS in a season was 2010 and he’s posted a .745 OPS in 236 total games for the Dodgers.

We’ve already seen the Dodgers’ outfield plans change several times due to injuries and performances, but for now Crawford will be a $20 million bench player.

Dodgers-Nationals game suspended after lighting problems

Jordan Zimmermann

Nationals Park just wasn’t able to handle all of the electricity generated by right fielders Yasiel Puig and Bryce Harper facing off. Friday’s game had to be suspended following three lighting delays, and it will be picked up on Saturday.

The problem was with a bank down the left-field line. Play was initially halted for 82 minutes in the fourth, with subsequent delays in the fifth and sixth.

The Nationals were up 3-2 in the sixth when play was officially halted for the night. Both starters had already exited because of the delays. Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed two runs in four innings, while Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger gave up one run in four innings.

Yunel Escobar, not Puig nor Harper, was the offensive star of the contest to date. He had a two-run homer and a double in three at-bats. Adrian Gonzalez homered for the Dodgers.

Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter on Yasiel Puig: “I wouldn’t give up on him now”

Yasiel Puig

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times spoke with Dodgers chairman Mark Walter. The first of many topics of conversation: Yasiel Puig.

Puig has been hampered by injuries this season. And, while there haven’t been any notable controversies involving the Dodgers’ right fielder this year, the release of Molly Knight’s new book on the Dodgers has put a spotlight on Puig, his complicated relationship with his teammates and the fact that, well, he can be annoying.

Some have speculated that the Dodgers would try to trade Puig in an “addition by subtraction” kind of mood. Walter, while saying he would not stand in the way of his baseball operations people should they decide to do that, is not himself ready to give up on Puig:

“I wouldn’t give up on him now . . . I think he’s just going to be a great player,” Walter said.

Walter pointed to a groundout by Puig last week in a home game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

“If you watch him, he’s playing hard,” Walter said. “Did you see that squibbler? He ran his butt off. He almost got there too.”

Walter continued, “Puig clearly, clearly has incredible potential and talent. And I think he’s got a big heart and wants to play hard. So I think that will show up.”

The real issue with trading Puig right now is that he’s been hurt and ineffective of late. Until he shows that he’s healthy and can return the form he showed before his hamstring injury earlier this season, the Dodgers would be selling low. Which, in the case of some players may not be an issue — everyone knows he’s talented and will play better — but given Puig’s reputation, anyone willing to give up a lot for him may want to be dang sure that he comes in as an impact player, not a set of damaged goods, however temporarily that may be.

Personally, I think it’s a bad baseball and business move to trade Puig unless you get a massive return. When healthy he’s one of the better hitters in the league. And he’s making peanuts for the production he is capable of providing. This year’s salary is $4.5 million. Over the next three years that only goes up a million a year. For guy with a line of .299/.380/.491 over his first three seasons, that’s a bargain.