No, this isn’t going to be a commentary on how Puig allegedly threw a tantrum when the Dodgers traded for Josh Reddick, partly because he didn’t, but mostly because Yasiel Puig is in a tough spot.
Puig burst onto the scene in 2013 as a 22 year old. He immediately became one of the most exciting players in the league with his mammoth home runs, bat flips, rocket arm and just overall flair. That 2013 season, Puig appeared in 104 games, hit .319 with 19 homers and had an OPS of .925. Along with the stellar play came some other issues though. Puig was immature. Puig was kind of a dickhead. Puig was lazy. Puig was a premadonna. Puig was butting heads with teammates and coaches. Puig didn’t know how to be a big leaguer.
Since that season, it seems like things got a bit worse with the off the field shit and a lot worse with the on the field performance. All of his numbers have regressed. In 2014, Puig hit 16 homers in 148 games and his OPS dropped to .863. In 2015, Puig played 79 games and hit 11 homers with an OPS of .758. This year, was supposed to be different though. There wasn’t really that cloud of Puig the Bad Teammate following him this year. In fact, people were talking about how Puig had really matured, and by all accounts it appeared that he had become a better team guy and had finally learned to be a “big leaguer.”
However, this year, his numbers are the worse of his career. Through 81 games, he has hit .260 with 7 homers and an OPS at a bismal .706. This once firecracker of a player is now almost a liability in the lineup and it looks like the Dodgers are ready to move on. Yesterday, the Dodgers made a deal for Josh Reddick. Reddick brings great defense and a consistent bat to the lineup. Because of this, LA notified Puig that he would either be traded or demoted and they could not find any takers on Puig, presumably because of his play and past attitudes so now where does that leave Yasiel?
It’s sad really. Puig was supposed to be one of the faces of baseball along with Harper and Trout. Now though it looks like he’ll be fighting his way to be on a big league roster. In reality, he probably did over produce that first season. Puig is probably more of a player like Josh Reddick (.285-.290 with 15-20 homers), but he’s not even coming close to that play. So in the end it probably is time for both he and the Dodgers to move on. Unfortunately for him, it looks as though barring an injury he may not be able to move on this season.
It’s been a roller coaster of a career for Yasiel so far. He’s only 25 though so have we seen the last of Puig? I highly doubt it. But have we seen the last of him in a Dodgers uniform? If not yet, then pretty damn soon.