Yasiel Puig is overweight. Anyway, overweight by his chiseled standards.
To which the Dodgers have mostly shrugged.
“Honestly, I’m not that concerned,” Manager Don Mattingly said.
Mattingly reasoned that a lot of players come back to camp with some added pounds, plus everything about Puig gets blown up. He’s only 23 years old and figures to lose most of the added weight by the time the season starts.
All true, of course, which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be of some concern. In itself, maybe it’s just a raised eyebrow.
But this is a player who’s had more than his share of troubles in the short time he’s been with the Dodgers. Add it to his sometimes undisciplined play on the field and his two arrests for reckless driving, and the eyebrow rises a tad higher.
An added 20-some pounds doesn’t speak to someone who was dedicated in the off-season, worked hard to improve and to report to camp in shape and ready to go.
Added weight on a young man working out hard can disappear in a hurry, or so vague memory attempts to remind me. But the Dodgers should be concerned. Not over-the-top concerned, but mindful of the wrong kind of pattern.
There were some in the organization who worried Puig had actually lost a little too much weight by the end of the season, though they must have been looking at a different Hulk than me.
Puig is in a new country, in a new city next to Hollywood, with newfound fortune and celebrity. And he should be mindful, with a lot of work ahead.