So sayeth Don Mattingly to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times:
Asked whether Puig was under consideration for the Dodgers’ opening-day roster, Manager Don Mattingly replied, “Not really, in my mind. If we’re going to be realistic about it, it’s probably not best for him.”
Which, on one level, is something of a bummer because Puig can hit the ball a country mile and that’s always fun. But probably sensible inmasuch as he looks like he might strike out a gabillion times given how eager he is to offer at stuff out of the strike zone.
You’ll see him. He’s too crazy-good an athlete not to play in the bigs sooner rather than later. But it sounds like Don Mattingly and the Dodgers want him to get some seasoning first.
It was announced earlier this month that 53-year-old Rafael Palmeiro signed a contract with the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association, joining his son, former minor leaguer Patrick Palmeiro. The four-time All-Star went 0-for-8 to begin his stint with the club before launching a solo homer in the fifth inning last night. Check it out below.
If we’re being technical here, that was his first home run since July 30, 2005. He hit the homer off 28-year-old Trey McNutt, former prospect with the Cubs and Padres. Palmeiro made his major league debut in 1986, three years before McNutt was born.
Palmeiro told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic last December that he was thinking about a comeback, but he understandably didn’t garner any serious consideration from MLB teams. This comeback attempt might not lead anywhere, but hey, he gets to show that he can still mash while hitting in the same lineup with his son. Palmeiro did that once before with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters in 2015, though it was just a one-game thing. As for the Railroaders, the national media attention can only help them.
Palmeiro is one of just six players in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, but he’s been a disgraced figure in the game since a failed drug test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2005. He dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014.