This is a little bit Best Shape of His Life, a little bit all-purpose pre-spring training story. It’s from Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times, keeping us up with the Days of our Puig.
The BSOHL part: the Dodgers apparently asked Puig to slim down from last year and he now looks good, down about 15 pounds from last year. It wasn’t a fat thing, says Andrew Friedman, as much as it was a bulked-up thing. Which, yes, Puig looked rather beefy last year and it seemed to slow his bat down a good deal. Who knows if it had some effect on those hamstring problems, but a lot of players have said weight work has done that to them in the past. At least when they’re not showing up to spring training with new muscles saying that lifting weights is going to give them durability. It’s kind of a moving target, you know.
The all-purpose spring training story which, in the case of Yasiel Puig and the Dodgers is actually pretty relevant compared to how it may be for a lot of players: he’s getting a fresh start.
McCullough reports that new manager Dave Roberts has met with Puig (and Puig has met with Clayton Kershaw and Scott Van Slyke) and that the new year and the new coaching staff means that the difficulties the Dodgers have had with Puig and Puig has had with the Dodgers is in the past. Everyone’s saying all the right things, don’t you know.
My guess: the fresh start will last until the moment either (a) the Dodgers are more than four or five games out of first place; or (b) Puig does something dumb. Then the stuff from the past will all come rushing back and the often-controversial Puig’s slate will be proven to have been less-than-clean beforehand.