The 2014 Major League Baseball season has begun and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is already making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
During the Dodgers season opening trip in Australia manager Don Mattingly became upset with Puig after he left game two with an apparent injury in the ninth inning. Mattingly responded in a sarcastic manner in regards to the injury “shoulder yesterday, back today, so I’m not sure if they’re going to get him tests or get him to the MRI Monday or a bone scan on Tuesday, maybe. I’m not quite sure what we’ll do. We may not do anything. I’m not sure.”
If the Los Angeles skipper wasn’t thrilled with his young player it’s much worse now as the star outfielder arrived late to the ballpark. Resulting in Puig getting benched and the Dodgers wound up losing their official home opener 8-4 to the San Francisco Giants.
So far in 2014 Puig has gotten benched, made two baserunning blunders with one mistake drawing the ire of first basemen Adrian Gonzalez and reportedly arrived in training camp 26 pounds overweight. It’s similar to what happened during the 2013 season, the Cuban outfielder consistently had his maturity get called into question and resulted in Mattingly benching him twice.
There’s no question Puig is one of the most exciting players in baseball and the key component of the Dodgers success in 2013. In 104 games he hit .319 with 19 home runs, 42 RBI, 122 hits, 21 doubles, two triples, 66 runs scored and a OBP of .391. Los Angeles’ record with him in the lineup 66-38 and without him 26-32.
Yet, even with the success the organization is at the point where Puig needs to get sent a message. Since this has become his third benching in less than one full season, the Dodgers next is to suspend him for anywhere between two-to-five games. Maybe then he’ll take the hint and start to mature otherwise he’ll continue as a distraction.