Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind and this time he weighed in on Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig and his chances of making the National League All-Star team.
Papelbon said “to me, it’s an absolute joke. It’s really kind of stupid if you ask me.” He further went on to say “the guy’s got a month, I don’t even think he’s got a month in the big leagues. Just comparing him to this and that, and saying he’s going to make the All-Star team, that’s a joke to me. It’s just really what happens in baseball when… to me it really does an injustice to the veteran players that have been in the game for eight-, nine-, 10-plus years. It kind of does them an injustice because they’ve worked so hard to stay there.”
If All-Star appearances got based on a month of outstanding play Atlanta Braves Justin Upton should also be participating. Over his first 26 games in April he hit .298 with a .402 obp, 12 home runs, 19 rbi and 5 doubles. Over the last 52 games though his average has slipped to .229 with 3 home runs, 19 rbi, 5 doubles and 2 triples.
As of now Upton is not one of the leaders in the NL in voting for a spot in the outfield. During 2012 the same argument got made for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and he didn’t make the All-Star team even after a strong May and June in which he hit .374, had an obp of .423, hit 7 home runs, drove in 24 runs, had 8 doubles, 1 triple and 18 stolen bases.
There’s no question that Puig has made the Dodgers relevant again after a slow start. The Cuban sensation has hit .443, a obp of .473, has hit 8 home runs with 17 rbi, 6 doubles, 1 triple and 4 stolen bases. He’s also made a number of highlight reel plays defensively.
Still he’s only played in 27 games one concern is his strike out to walk ratio, he has only walked 4 times while striking out 22 times. It’s only a matter of time before pitchers make adjustments to him. By having him possibly be added to the All-Star game roster what does it say to a player who has been consistently good for much of the season? There’s no question that if Puig had started on the Dodgers roster to open the season he’d be going at this point he just doesn’t have enough games played in to warrant a selection.