Yasiel Puig’s mature approach is encouraging to the Los Angeles Dodgers
In the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 8-2 victory Monday night, Yasiel Puig was instructed to prepare to enter the game as a pinch-hitter. What he did next encouraged Manager Dave Roberts and reiterated Puig’s importance to the Dodgers against left-handed pitching.
Puig went into the indoor batting cage and warmed up. So he was ready when the eighth inning came and he needed to face left-hander James Pazos. Puig hit a solo home run to increase the Dodgers’ lead.
“Yasiel has continued to grow as a baseball player, as a teammate, as a man,” Roberts said. “For him to be ready when called upon off the bench and be anxious to help his team win, that’s outstanding. And I know that his teammates see that. The ultimate thing is you want the respect of your teammates.”
With Josh Reddick’s batting average rising, Puig probably won’t start in right field against right-handed pitchers. But the team will continue to rely on him against left-handers and he could see more time in left field. Roberts plans to start him in left later this series.
Puig did not magnify the moment. He took the instruction from the coaching staff and went to work.
“They let me know I was coming up to bat,” Puig said through an interpreter. “I got ready in the cage. And the home run went out to right field.”
NO UPDATE ON SCOTT KAZMIR
Roberts indicated he had not received a timetable for the return of Scott Kazmir, who was diagnosed with thoracic spinal inflammation after a bone scan over the weekend. Kazmir has not pitched in the majors since Aug. 22 and exited a rehabilitation start last week midway through his first inning of work.
As the weeks pass, it is becoming more and more unlikely that veterans Kazmir, Brett Anderson (blister) and Brandon McCarthy (hip stiffness) will be available to contribute in October.
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