Yasiel Puig sat out of yesterday’s Dodgers victory over the Giants. Most people assumed it was to rest an ankle Puig said was gimpy after Saturday night’s game. Turns out not to be the case. Dave Roberts benched him, upset that he didn’t slide into second base on the caught-stealing that ended Saturday night’s game. A non-slide Puig said was due to feeling pain in his ankle.
J.P. Hoornstra’s story at the OC Register from yesterday, however, reveals that this is really about Roberts being displeased with Puig’s effort. Which is something of a surprise, as this season has featured an allegedly reformed Yasiel Puig. He’s stayed in the lineup, worked hard on defense, has avoided his usual number of boneheaded mistakes and has not appeared to raise the ire of his teammates as he has in year’s past.
As Hoornstra’s story makes clear, though, it has not been quite as smooth as portrayed, with Roberts saying “[t]here’s been some things that, when you look back, I’ve kept notes of . . . You have to have trust in all your players.”
The playoffs start for the Dodgers in a little over a week. Not the time of year that you’d want, or expect, there to be clubhouse discord. Whether this is a two-day nothingburger or something that lasts a bit longer remains to be seen.