MRI confirms Yasiel Puig had setback with hamstring

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Yasiel Puig was lifted from a rehab game Friday at High-A Rancho Cucamonga after reaggravating his left hamstring strain while running to first base. He underwent an MRI on Monday, which confirmed that he’s going to have to back off from baseball activities.

“A little bit of a setback,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly confirmed Tuesday evening to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group.

Puig might not have to completely start over, but it figures that he’ll be shut down for at least a week to give the hamstring more time to heal. The 24-year-old Cuban outfielder has been on the disabled list since April 24 and this hamstring injury has been bothering him since the second week of the regular season. Andre Ethier has been serving as the Dodgers’ right fielder.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.