L.A. Times columnist calls for benching Yasiel Puig in favor of Andre Ethier

46 Comments

No, not that one. It’s Steve Dilbeck, who says that Don Mattingly needs to stop playing “Golden Boy” Joc Pederson and “last year’s overnight sensation” Yasiel Puig and instead play Andre Ethier in center field on a regular basis. But don’t worry, Dilbeck is prepared for you to point out that, well, Andre Ethier isn’t very good these days:

Now I know what many of you are going to say. You watch Ethier play this year? Looked at his numbers?

And, sure, he has career-lows going in almost every offensive category. But at least he has a history. He’s been through the playoff wars. He’s responded under pressure.

His history: an August and September nearly as bad as Puig’s, but a full season in which he has been nothing close to Puig’s equal. Oh, and defensive chops that have not been suited to center field for a good long time. This puts me in mind of that famous Churchill put-down — or was it W.C. Fields? Or was it just a good joke someone made up? — after some woman criticized him for being drunk: about how he may be drunk but in the morning he’ll be sober, while his criticizer will still be a fool.

Well, it’s possible that Yasiel Puig will still be slumping tomorrow. But it’s still just a slump. Andre Ethier will still have a fork in his back tomorrow. “Playoff wars” experience or otherwise.

By the way: Andre Ethier having gone through the “playoff wars” has amounted to a career playoff line of .230/.323./.402.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

Justin Verlander
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports