After straining a thumb ligament diving head-first into first base last Saturday, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in the lineup for Friday night’s game against the Diamondbacks. He’ll bat second and return to his home in right field. Puig pinch-hit on Wednesday, but otherwise hasn’t played since leaving Saturday’s game.
Through his first seven games spanning 29 plate appearances, Puig is slashing .240/.321/.400 with one home run. While he hasn’t been making headlines for his on-field performance — thumb injury aside — he has been a lightning rod for criticism regarding his behavior in the clubhouse. Teammate Chris Perez recently repudiated that criticism.
The Braves announced on Thursday that the club has inked lefty reliever Will Smith to a three-year, $39 million contract with a club option for the 2023 season worth $13 million. Smith received a qualifying offer worth $17.8 million from the Giants, so he opted for a lower average annual value for a longer contract.
Smith, 30, was an All-Star last season with the Giants, finishing with 34 saves, a 2.76 ERA, and a 96/21 K/BB ratio across 65 1/3 innings. Across parts of seven seasons in the majors, he has a 3.53 ERA.
Smith, the top free agent left-handed reliever, will join a strong Braves bullpen which already includes Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, and Sean Newcomb.