After Yasiel Puig was forced to make an early exit from the past two games due to a lingering injury to his left hip, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Cuban sensation is not in the starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Rockies.
Puig originally injured his hip when he collided with the right-field fence while making a catch at Coors Field on July 3. Coincidence or not, he’s hitting .256 (10-for-39) with one double and a 13/3 K/BB ratio since. Per Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated that there has been some uncertainty about his ability to play in recent days.
It’s unclear when Puig will be ready to go, but it would hardly be surprising if he was held out the rest of the weekend. It’s best that he gets this thing under control in preparation for the second half of the season. Maybe him missing out on playing in the All-Star Game isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.