Timing being everything, Cuban-born Yasiel Puig’s major league debut couldn’t have come soon enough, and for many the question is why wasn’t he with the struggling Dodgers (27-35) from the outset.
Though enormously gifted physically, it seems General Manager Ned Colletti felt the 22-year-old Puig, an outfielder, needed more seasoning in the minor leagues, but now that he’s with the big club, the chance he returns is slim based on this past week at the Stadium.
In Sunday’s 8-1 loss to Atlanta, Puig, who is batting .464 with four homers and 10 runs batted in, singled twice and doubled, and Skip Schumaker had a run-scoring hit in the first inning, which hardly offset Dan Uggla’s three-run homer in the third, and his solo shot in the fifth, nor Freddie Freeman’s three-run double in the fourth.
Puig singled twice, Schumaker collected three hits and Hanley Ramirez had a run-producing hit in the eighth during Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Braves as Kris Medlen (3-6) homered and went six and two-third innings, striking out six, walking one and allowing no runs.
Medlen’s shot came in the fifth as did Uggla’s off Stephen Fife (1-1), who worked six and two-third innings.
On Friday, the Dodgers were 2-1 victors over Atlanta as Puig, who is 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, cracked a solo smash in the sixth to tie it at 1-1, and pinch-runner Schumaker scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the 10th.
In Thursday’s 5-0 blanking of the Tribe, Puig (two hits) lined a grand slam to right field, and Zack Greinke (3-1) yielded four hits and no runs in seven innings.
Puig went hitless in Wednesday’s 6-2 defeat to San Diego as Jason Marquis (7-2) limited the Dodgers to three hits and two runs (earned) across six and one-third innings.
Clayton Kershaw (5-4) took the loss after striking out nine, walking three, giving up seven hits and three runs (two earned) in six innings.
Puig doubled and homered twice as the Blue Crew moved past the Padres, 9-7, on Tuesday.
Puig’s first shot was a towering three-run rocket halfway up the left field pavilion in the fifth, and his second was a two-run liner to right in the sixth.
Tim Federowicz (two hits and two runs) added a two-run homer in the second, and Luis Cruz doubled in a run.
Adrian Gonzalez homered, Scott Van Slyke (two hits with a run) also drove in a run, and Puig singled twice in the Dodgers’ 2-1 win over San Diego on Monday.