Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said today that Yasiel Puig “is definitely on his way” to Los Angeles and that “he’ll be in the lineup tonight, playing right field,” as the Dodgers face the Padres.
Puig, of course, hit .348/.400/.594 in 19 games since being demoted to Oklahoma City. His demotion was for both baseball and attitude purposes, it would seem, with everyone at the time making noises about Puig needing to focus as well as become a more consistent offensive threat. He certainly handled the baseball side of things down at Triple-A. With the exception of a noted SnapChat controversy soon after his demotion, he was reportedly a good citizen down on the farm as well.
So, why is Puig back up? The hitting certainly helps, as Josh Reddick, who was traded for in large part to replace Puig in the lineup, has tanked since coming over from Oakland, hitting .161/.223/.172. He wasn’t immune from weird off-the-field headlines himself, missing time after getting injured while ordering room service in a hotel.
The biggest question will be how Puig plays now that he’s back in the big leagues. Will he remain focused and will that hot bat he flashed in the minors carry over? If so, a lot of his past sins will be overlooked as playing well tends to eclipse most things when it comes to ballplayers. It’ll also be worth watching his teammates, many of whom clearly have issues with him, with at least one of them apparently spreading misinformation about him as he got sent down to the minors in an effort to make him look bad.
But again: if he plays well, all sins are forgiven.