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.