After the past few months of speculation, and countless games of Yasiel Puig being sat at times that he could play, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally came clean when they notified Puig that they will either demote him or trade him, and asked him to not travel with the team for their series against the Colorado Rockies.
One can’t blame the Dodgers. They just acquired one of the best right fielders in the game in Josh Reddick. If the Dodgers ever want to get this outfield thing fixed, they needed someone who is established and healthy to anchor their young outfielders around.
Yasiel Puig’s Career Isn’t Over Yet
Many will say this is the end of the line for Yasiel Puig. He was given too many chances. He swung on too many balls out of the zone. He overran the third base coach too many times. He simply just didn’t gel with the rest of team well enough.
If you watched Yasiel Puig throughout the year this season, you’ll see that under new manager Dave Roberts, Puig has made leaps and bounds in maturity. In key game situations, you’ll see Puig has a noticeably different mindset. Once in a while he still swings at pitches that are just about into Dodger Stadium first base dugout, but it seems like a whole lot less. On paper, though, and coupled with hamstring injuries throughout the year, it just wasn’t enough.
That doesn’t mean it’s the end of line for Yasiel Puig, though.
Journey to the Majors
One simply does not escape Cuba, and travel the journey that Puig has to get to the majors and play baseball at the highest level, only to see it end with one demotion or trade. Yasiel Puig, someone who has the best cannon for an arm than anyone has ever seen in the last decade, will find a way to bounce back, just like he found a way to the United States and play in the majors.
Coupled with the right team, surrounded by veteran mentors, and a manager and front office that can relate to him, Puig will see better days. There is no guarantee he’ll return to the player he was the 2013 last place Dodgers called him up, but he will develop into a more consistent player.
This isn’t Johnny Manziel we’re talking about. This is a guy who has the talent and stature of some the best players that ever played the game, and with the reality check he received post trade deadline from the Dodgers, will have far better days ahead of him.
If Puig’s maturity is still in question, see Puig’s reaction to Ken Rosenthal, who apologized for inadvertently reporting false information of Puig storming away from Dodger Stadium after being told about his situation.
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) August 2, 2016
If the reply to Rosenthal’s apology isn’t evidence of a player who has been humbled by his situation and wants to turn it around, I don’t know what is.
Either that, or Puig’s agent has a really good grip on Puig’s social media image.