Categorized | Mark Timmons

Puig is Sure to Drop Off

He has to.  No one expects him to continue hitting at a .545 pace with a 1.354 OPS, so he’ll probably fall back to maybe .300 and .900.  Horribe, I tell you!!!  Yaz has the most at bats of any Dodger this Spring (48) and while he has shown tremendous raw talent, we really don’t expect him to continue at this clip.  It is a small sampling – I’ll give you that, but the talent level of Yasiel Puig is amazing.  Some say that he has to go down to AA or AAA for a while so as not to cause him to lose confidence or so that he can prove himself.  Rubbish!  If he is that mentally weak, then he’s not the player he seems anyway.  At the very least, he has to be the 4th outfielder or starting LF if  Carl Crawford starts the season on the DL.

It’s too early to make a trade unless it’s just to dump Aaron Harang.  However, losing Hanley Ramirez for 2 months is a huge blow.  I felt like he would have been better defensively this year, but there’s no time for that now.  The fact of the matter is that he might not be very effective all year with a severe thumb injury.  I think the Dodgers will be looking for trade partners immediately, but give it several weeks before doing anything.

Could this be the Opening Day lineup?

  1. Ellis  2B
  2. Ethier  RF
  3. Kemp  CF
  4. Gonzalez  1B
  5. Puig  LF
  6. Uribe  3B
  7. Cruz  SS
  8. Ellis  C
  9. Kershaw  P

Yikes!!

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About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

46 Responses to “Puig is Sure to Drop Off”

  1. Ken says:

    The people in the lineup are an unlikely necessity.

    Actually Angle is hitting better than Puig. Where is the talk about him?

    .545 v. .521
    .583 v. .500
    .909 v. .854

    :)

  2. Ken says:

    Kyle Lohse hates Scott Borass a little more every day.

  3. Quasimodo says:

    Mattingly has been accused of liking to platoon players. I didn’t see there was much choice to do anything else last year, well I’ll admit there was a couple times I was angered at some of his moves. This year also demands him to do a bit of shuffling but without further injuries it’ll mostly be only two spots. I watched a vidio of Mattingly talking on this at Dodgers.com and I liked what I saw. He seemed cheerful and fairly optimistic, not as much with what he had to say but more with how he looked. Mark, I doubt you’ll find anyone to disagree with you on Puig. It’d be nice for him to prove you wrong and we would all be shocked. Is there a lightning storm coming?

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “he has to be the 4th outfielder or starting LF if Carl Crawford starts the season on the DL.”

    If Puig is on the opening day roster he has to be in the lineup. No way that I see him as taking on the role of 4th outfielder. Last year he didn’t get past A ball, and over the winter his time in Puerto Rico was cut short by the surgery on his elbow due to a staph infection. To date, according to what I’ve read, Puig has 95 professional at bats (not including ST and PR). If he’s sent down, it’s to get him some at bats against more advanced pitching prior to asking him to step into a big league lineup.

    Whatever the decision is with Puig, it will be based on how ready the Dodgers brass perceive him to be, and on Carl Crawford’s readiness to play.

    Going down has nothing to do with him acquiring confidence, but has everything to do with him gaining experience at a level or two beyond what he’s heretofore been exposed to.

  5. Watford Dodger says:

    Think u are all missing the point.

    We have lost Hanley – bad news obviously but on the plus side we suddenly have one of the most exciting/unexpected player anywhere in Spring Training.

    It would be foolish not to unleash him now while he has this X Factor

    feeling around him not only to energise us the fans but also his teammates.

    We should all ride this momentum while it is there because we all know it can’t last.

    Maybe we should send him to Triple A & wait for the bubble to burst and then bring him back when he’s not feeling so good with his game?

    To me it’s ridiculous – in the form he’s in – against any pitching – he should be the first name on the teamsheet – probably in place of Crawford who is obviously undercooked.

    So Mark you are right – PLAY HIM NOW

    • Quasimodo says:

      I may very well agree with you, Watford. But not till another 9 days come and go. The freeway series will be the most realistic baseball of all ST. His batting is better against better pitchers than those less proven. I’ve read he says playing SS is easy, is he honest or was he saying that in fun? So far all Puig’s done is….everything? If this kid really can play SS, then wow!

      • NativeAngeleno says:

        The only times Puig has struggled at the plate were against the better pitchers. Weaver made him look age 22. That’s what the brass are afraid of, he hasn’t seen enough of em yet—as if it’s all being hidden from him in March, as if going down to ALB or ‘Nooga he’ll see it there, and as if the coaching down there is magically superior to what he could learn in LA.

        Bring him up NOW. It’s the only way he’s going to continue to learn. Carl Crawford needs a breather already.

  6. DRomo says:

    The reasoning for starting Puig now is twofold.
    1) We need a presence in the lineup that can drive in runs. Puig can do that.
    2) We DO NOT want to rush Crawford back and risk another setback. The guy can’t throw yet. The goal I heard for opening day is “hit the cut off” That’s dumb on its face and is just asking for trouble. Let him get back healthy and have extended spring training. Because when he is healthy he is a force. If he isn’t he does us no good.
    Look, when Crawford is truly 100% a month or so) we will know what we have in Puig. I am sure there will be bumps in the road (ala Kemps 1st couple seasons). Maybe it requires a trip to AA or AA for more seasoning. But he is coming to LA and we have to make room sooner or later. The question is what combo gives us a best chance to win long term. I contend IF Crawford is heathy…. It’s Crawford, Kemp, Puig. I like Andre a lot but he may be odd man out.
    Sadly I predict drama and unhappiness on the horizon when we have 4 healthy elite outfielders and only 3 spots. I hope I am wrong.

    • Badger says:

      Hitting the cutoff is dumb?

      NOT hitting is dumber. Get to ball quickly, release quickly, and hit your strong arm cutoff with a strike.

    • Badger says:

      If Crawford says he is ready, he gets the start. If he is not, then it’s Puig. There are a few days left for this decision. For all we know Crawford is just measuring himself.

      Puig is obviously a real talent and is going to be an every day Major League player. This year? Hey, I was the first one in here who said I had no problem with that if Donnie went that direction. But Crawford is the starting left fielder and when he is ready Puig goes to the minor leagues where he can hit third and play every day.

  7. Matt says:

    Any of you get Dodgers Magazine? If so do you know when they send out the issues? Ordered in beginning of Febraury, have not received anything yet…..

    Thanks! Great site.

  8. Quasimodo says:

    Matt, customer service 888-652-7467

  9. Bobby says:

    Good Puig article from Yahoo. Interesting about which mlb pitchers he’s hit against, because a common sense thought is that he’s only doing this hitting vs. minor league guys.

    Bye Bye Andre??

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/true-story–legend-of-yasiel-puig-could-only-grow-if-phenom-joins-dodgers-for-season-s-start-004409427.html

  10. Quasimodo says:

    OK, Gordon plays SS and Puig plays CF. Let them each get 9 innings in, but have them swap positions after 5 innings. Just for a look-see.

  11. NativeAngeleno says:

    Disagree. WHAT do we know about Crawford’s capabilities at this point? So far i’ve seen he’s got his legs, cuz he beat out an infield bleeder. He has no visible power, his other hits so far are punches to the outfield. If his arm is still going to be weak on 4/1, let him rehab in Glendale, Ned. We want Puig.

    Puig in left, Matt in center, Ethier stays in right. Your 2013 World Champion Los Angeles Dodger starting outfield.

  12. Quasimodo says:

    Is it my PC or just bad webcast? pretty choppy this time.

    • Bobby says:

      Ok, I thought maybe it was my bad feed here in Ecuador.

      Horrible to watch, so listening to gameday/Reds’ broadcast.

  13. the truth hurts says:

    cruuuuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  14. KLD says:

    Oh God… the ‘booger eatin’ moron’ may have to start the season at 3rd!!! Will he ever fade away into the night?

  15. Bobbie17 says:

    Impressions from Glendale: Cruz is our Scutaro. He must play somewhere. The game is easy for Puig, and he has to play. Not a great defender yet, but the bat is needed more than the glove. Haven’t seen Ethier yet in 2 games. What’s up? Crawford looked like a minor leaguer. He should not start ahead of Puig. Kershaw settled down after a rough 1st and looked strong. Pitched out of a jam or 2 not of his doing. Gordon just cannot hit. I am wondering if he can hit at AAA now. Castellanos has to be on the team in some capacity. He looks like he came from the St Louis system, which is a plus. Paco Rodriguez just gets people out. Came in and got a double play at a crucial point in the game. How can they send him down? If the Dodgers have all this money, they shouldn’t mind sitting some of it on the bench, where it belongs.

  16. Pete M. says:

    Holy crapola Batman!!! Mixed bag of comments today…My takes for what it’s worth:
    Puig to start in AA…Cruz to start @ SS… Hot hand @ 3B (Uribe,Punto n Hairston platoon)…As usual I’m preaching Catellanos as spare OF… Fife as #5 starter (it’s time)…
    Who is the 2 hole??? How about the Ellis boys 1-2??? of A.J. and Mark.
    ‘Booger eatin moron’??? Really???

  17. SpokaneBob says:

    My Daughter has always loved Ethier. I was telling her that some have nicknamed Puig “The Breast”. So she said that would give us an outfield of The Beast, The Bison and The Hunk!

    • Badger says:

      The Hunk?

      Sure wish I would have been able to make it to ST. It’s snowing sideways here in Denver, maybe 18 degrees outside. Gonna be crappy for a few days here.

      I still believe Crawford is the starting left fielder, but I remain out of touch with his progress. If he says he is ready he plays. As you all know, I don’t want him leading off but we really don’t have anyone else. (don’t tell me Ellis)

      What has Gordon done lately? Is he getting on?

    • Quasimodo says:

      The Breast?
      I’m certain that’s a typo though he is likely to have a hood (not tits) or maybe he likes white chicken meat. Whats good about Mar 23? Well for me, as I don’t have MLBTV, the only Dodger game I’ll be unable to see on TV is wednesdays game. Till 2014 that is.
      Gordon did very little yesterday though I had to miss the bottom innings for a damn doctor visit, Badger. If its snowing there in Denver the trees must not yet be green. Spring hits in a days time there.

  18. Bobbie17 says:

    From what I saw in Glendale on Friday, Gordon is overmatched. I think he is in a steady decline.

    • Badger says:

      Well that ain’t good. He still has a .400 OBP and has done more with his ab’s than Castellanos. But why only 31 of them? Maybe they already know he isn’t sticking so what he does now doesn’t really matter.

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “Send me Ethier and $85 million,” said one GM, referring to the amount owed on the right fielder’s five-year contract, “and I’ll give you whoever you want.”

    So if the Dodgers are willing to trade Ethier and pay his entire salary, it appears they might be able to get back significant return. Of course, reality might be different.

    I have no problem with Puig starting the season in the minors or majors. That’s a decision I prefer to leave to the people who know him best, and that’s none of us. He might be a once in a lifetime player, or he might be just another in a long line of players who have torn it up in ST only to hit a wall when the real games begin. The fact that he hasn’t yet drawn a walk is of some concern. That’s the kind of thing that big league pitchers can exploit if the player doesn’t make adjustments.

    Gordon’s .400 OBP is encouraging. But he’s probably just getting into this patience thing, so his selection of the pitches he swings at may still be work in progress. If he starts the season in the minors I have no problem. But I also recall that in the minors Gordon was at times a bit streaky. There were times he couldn’t buy a hit, and others when he was extremely difficult to get out. After last years thumb injury he might be better off taking his time getting back into the Dodgers lineup. But unlike one person above, by no means do I believe Gordon is over-matched. But then again, I don’t put too much stock in ST performances either. They’re instructive, but by no means definitive.

  20. Kevin says:

    This will be the opening day lineup

    Crawford
    Ellis (M)
    Kemp
    Gonzo
    Ethier
    Cruz
    Uribe
    Ellis (AJ)

  21. 86McCourt says:

    Good read on Puig from a G-NAT writer by the name of Grant Brisbee! http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/3/22/4135836/yasiel-puig-dodgers-spring-training#

  22. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “Do you know what Jeff Keppinger is doing this spring? He’s 16-for-31, good for a .516/.595/.677 line. He looks like a .500 hitter. Because when a player is hitting every other ball hard, it doesn’t seem like luck has anything to do with it. If you’re in the mood for a GIF, you can find a relevant one here of Marco Scutaro going 14 for 28 in the NLCS. He did it against a team good enough to reach the playoffs, and there are just a couple that make you think, “Lucky.” He looked like the greatest hitter in the world. When a player is 14-for-28 or 25-for-50, they look like they have the game figured out.”

    The above is from the Brisbee article linked above by 86McCourt. Jeff Keppinger is a good hitter, but by no means a superstar. Scutaro is a good player, but by no means the player we saw at the end of last year. Puig may well be very good, maybe will ultimately become a superstar. But like the title of this thread tells us, “Puig is Sure to Drop Off”. And there was Wilson Valdez, who hit .356 in ST in 2007 with the Dodgers and then got off to a hot start to begin the season. I remember thinking to myself, what happens when opposing pitchers start throwing this guy a steady diet of breaking pitches. Well they did, and he stopped hitting.

    Most of us know how unreliable ST stats can be. The games don’t count, the adrenaline isn’t flowing, the experienced players are motivated only to get into playing shape, there are lots of AAAA and lesser types participating, and the veterans often spend a good part of their time experimenting. It’s just not the same as the real season. In fact, some players have lousy springs followed by great seasons.

    It’s nice to see a player doing well in the spring, and there are times when it continues into the season. But not always, and there is no way to predict whether it will happen or not. So enjoy Puig’s hitting, but understand that it by no means is proof that he’s ready. He might be, but only time will tell us that. And any comparison to Yoenis Cespedes last year is simply not apt. Cespedes was 26, Puig is 22. That can make a big difference.

  23. Quasimodo says:

    Todays lineup, Crawford, Ellis, kemp, Ethier, Cruz, Uribe, Ellis and Ryu.

  24. Quasimodo says:

    oops! insert Gonzo between Kemp and Ethier.

  25. Bobbie17 says:

    After seeing him against the Reds, Gordon looks like he is trying to get walks. He gets behind in counts and then beats the ball into the ground. Does he hit line drives? I haven’t see one. At some point he has to start hitting the ball hard OVER the infield. I just don’t see it from him. If he was Omar Visquel with the glove, maybe there is a place, but he is not and not on this team. When I saw him, he was overmatched.

  26. Quasimodo says:

    Badger, Crawford looks to me that he should probably start on DL. His running is great though. I really don’t have enough to have anything valid about the DL statement. Puig took over for him in LF and batting next.

  27. Quasimodo says:

    Puig continues to impress. Pretty amazing speed making a single into a double. I’m thinking it could very well be a mistake if he doesn’t begin season on the roster.

  28. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    ‘He gets behind in counts and then beats the ball into the ground. Does he hit line drives? I haven’t see one. At some point he has to start hitting the ball hard OVER the infield. I just don’t see it from him.”

    Someone here needs an education in baseball. A player with Gordon’s speed and w/o significant power is always encouraged to hit down on the ball. The last thing you want is a player w/o much power hitting the ball in the air. You want the ball on the ground because a significant number will find their way through the infield, and with his speed, Gordon is going to beat out slow rollers, balls hit towards the middle of the infield and in the holes, especially on the left side of the infield. And hitting down on the ball is more likely to produce line drives than hitting under it. And if infielders are forced to hurry because of Gordon’s speed, they will likely be forced into more mistakes and errors.

    And most significantly, Gordon has been getting on base more than in the past. And it’s on base where he can do the most damage, no matter how he got there. And finally, hopefully Gordon will improve his bunting, another means to utilize his speed to get on base. Mattingly wants Gordon to be a baseball player, not just a speedster. But speed is a very big part of Gordon’s game, and hitting down on the ball, improving his bunting and drawing more bases on balls are some of the means by which Gordon can utilize his speed to become a better baseball player.

  29. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Quas, I doubt if it’s a mistake for Puig to begin the year in the minors. If he produces big time down there, then it would likely be a mistake to keep out of LA all year. If he earns it, a call-up in May or June works for me. I believe that’s what happened with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper last year.

    I wonder what the Cardinals are going to do with their hitting sensation, Oscar Taveras. I haven’t followed him this spring, but I have read that the soon to be 21 year old and last years Texas League MVP, could open the season in the minors, but is expected to play a significant role with the Cardinals this year. The kid is supposed to be a hitting machine.

    Again, on Puig, I’m inclined to go along with whatever decision Dodgers management makes. They know him the best, and are probably best qualified to make a decision in Puig’s best interest. Yes, they can make mistakes, but so too can any of us. In fact, with Hanley out for a couple of months, it might be best to wait until he’s ready to return to provide a bit more protection for Puig.

    Bottom line, whatever decision the Dodgers make I will support. And if Puig produces in the minors I doubt if there is any way that he can be kept out of LA very long.

  30. Ken says:

    As of today I think that Puig is better than Crawford and should start in LF. Can he lead off? An average of .330 and no walks is ok. :)

    Hopefully Crawford will improve significantly during the next week.

  31. Quasimodo says:

    All I can say is, its pure fun watching Puig and I don’t want to miss out on watching any fun.

  32. Rob says:

    If Crawford is iffy for opening day Puig needs to be playing left field. The kid is raw but electric. If he struggles just send him down for some seasoning when Crawford is 100%

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