Dodgers Dugout: The one player many fans say has got to go

Yasiel Puig.

Yasiel Puig.

(Mark J. Terrill / AP)

Hi, welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, reminding you that in their last seven starts, Clayton Kershaw has a 1.60 ERA and Zack Greinke has a 0.54 ERA.

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The people speak

In the last newsletter, I asked how you would improve the Dodgers, and the response was overwhelming. More than 500 of you emailed your suggestions, with the two biggest ideas: Trade Yasiel Puig for a pitcher and fire Don Mattingly. If you want to subscribe to this newsletter and have your voice heard in the future, click here. A few of the highlights:


Richard Campato of Simi Valley: Get rid of Mattingly. This team has no life. They do nothing to manufacture runs. That is a reflection of the manager.

Jason Hutchison: Trade Yasiel Puig, Alex Guerrero, Darnell Sweeney and Scott Schebler to Cincinnati for Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Todd Frazier. This trade would accomplish several things for both teams. It would allow the Reds to jump start their rebuilding by landing four legitimate young players who are ready for the majors. On the Dodgers’ end of things, we would land another legitimate ace in Cueto. We could try to extend him immediately and even if it didn’t work out, a World Series title would make it worth the risk. He is a far better option than a guy like Cole Hamels in my opinion.

Jim Lynch of Annandale, N.J.: The Dodgers should trade Yasiel Puig to the Cincinnati Reds for Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman. Throw a couple of lower level minor leaguers in the deal from each team to help obfuscate the fact that this is simply a face-saving deal for the Reds. Yes, I know Cueto’s a rental. But Chapman has one more year of arbitration left after this year. Getting rid of Puig now is addition by subtraction for the Dodgers. They need to play Scott Van Slyke more. If they make him an everyday outfielder, he’ll outperform whatever Puig would have done. From the vantage point of the Reds, they clear out a lot of salary and can sell their fan base on the fact that they are getting a perceived superstar.

Bob Lamb: Trade Puig for a good front-line starter or maybe a few closers that are out there. Puig is not a team player and the Dodgers have plenty of outfield help.

Gary Muntz: Trade Yasiel Puig to the Reds for Aroldis Chapman. He would be the eighth-inning guy. Game. Set. Match.

Theo Moreno: I hate to say this, but trade Puig for a GOOD pitcher. Also, Jimmy Rollins is hitting better, but what have they got to lose if they bring up Corey Seager? I’m also getting this sinking feeling that Mattingly may not be the guy to lead this team to anything.

Sandy Maroney of Concord, Calif.: Remove the geeks from the Ivory Tower (aka the front office) and replace them with bonafide baseball men.


Carl Rosen: Fire Don Mattingly and trade Yasiel Puig, while his value is still solid. I know it’s controversial, but Mattingly has never won anything without Mariano Rivera and Puig’s stats are declining at 24 (pretty scary), and his attitude leaves lots to be desired. Mattingly is not a field manager and can’t motivate multimillionaires.

Garrett Hongo: Trade Puig to Philadelphia for Cole Hamels and change. Puig is Mr. Entitlement and is a liability. Chokes in the clutch. Fire Mattingly and hire from among the best current coaches. We need a strong baseball man and a good in-game manager who can set up the ‘pen and bench for late-game substitutions.

James Mathieu of Jackson, Wyo.: Corey Seager replaces Rollins at shortstop. Today.

Bob Walsh of Charlottesville, Va.: I would trade Puig to the Phillies for Cole Hamels. I don’t think Puig will ever live up to the talent that he possesses.

Shi-Ling Hsu of Tallahassee, Fla.: I would do a lot to get Dee Gordon back. I would shop what I view as an overvalued Yasiel Puig to see what we could get for him to address the speed and starting pitching deficits.

Dan Ellis: I really think it’s time to let Don Mattingly go. Tim Wallach would be a good replacement. I’m also thinking of the Dodgers firing Andrew Friedman for his inability to have a set balanced line-up and staying with it, instead of changing it day after day after day.

Matt Gaffney: First thing I’d do to change things is fire Mattingly. The other major thing I’d do is figure out a way to get the Dodgers on TV again.


Michael Thurston: The first thing I’d do is trade Puig to the A’s for Scott Kazmir and prospects. As much as I like watching Puig play, I feel like he’s more of a distraction for the team than an asset. I like Van Slyke, and feel if given the chance he can easily hit .270/20hrs.

Will Hare: The first thing I’d do is trade Puig for Hamels, straight up.

Bill Coady: My suggestion has been and continues to be to get rid of Don Mattingly and replace him with Tim Wallach!

Tony Contreras: Do you honestly think the Dodgers aren’t doing everything they can do to win a World Series? Look at their record. The Dodgers are in first place. If you think the yahoo baseball fans can do better then, congratulations, you are a sportswriter. I’ll stick with the professionals, those that get paid for what they do. I have every confidence that the Dodgers will continue to do everything necessary to bring home a winner.

Best wishes

Don Newcombe was released from the hospital Wednesday after spending two days there after becoming ill at Dodger Stadium. Newcombe, 89, was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award and league MVP award in the same season. Here’s to a speedy recovery, and here’s hoping the Dodgers drop the silly “must be in the Hall of Fame” unwritten rule and retire his number.

And finally


Times Dodgers blogger Steve Dilbeck takes a look at why Clayton Kershaw should be an All-Star, and also a look at why he shouldn’t be an All-Star.

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