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

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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.

Report: Rangers sign Jordan Lyles to two-year, $16 million deal

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rangers and pitcher Jordan Lyles have agreed to a contract. ESPN’s Jeff Passan provided the details, reporting that it is a two-year, $16 million deal.

Lyles, 29, split last season between the Pirates and Brewers, performing much better with the latter. Overall, he compiled a 4.15 ERA with a 146 strikeouts and 55 walks across 141 innings. It was a return to full-time starting for Lyles, who had performed mostly as a reliever from 2016-18.

The Rangers also inked Kyle Gibson to a three-year, $30 million contract last week. Gibson and Lyles will join a rotation that also includes Mike Minor and Lance Lynn as well as youngster Kolby Allard.