Ever since the Dodgers optioned outfielder Yasiel Puig to the minors following the trade deadline, there’d been constant will-they-or-won’t-they questions about his standing with the club. Specifically, it was unclear whether the Dodgers would attempt to trade Puig this month using the waiver wire, or — if not — whether they would recall him from the minors after rosters expanded.
We now know the answers to both questions. Earlier this week, the Dodgers pulled Puig off waivers after failing to work out a trade with a claiming team, and on Friday they announced his recall. What’s more — Puig is in the starting lineup against the Padres:
Yasiel Puig is not only retuning to #Dodgers, but in starting lineup tonight
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 2, 2016
Puig: “It wasn’t embarrassing. I earned the demotion.”
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) September 2, 2016
Puig had hit .348/.400/.594 in Triple-A, though his ability to hit lesser pitching had never been the issue. Sure, there were arguments for the Dodgers not keeping Puig, but none hinged on talent. Rather, the dilemma all along had been whether his antics were worth the tension and he headache.
Of course, the flip side is that the arguments for keeping Puig remain in place. Trade-deadline acquisition Josh Reddick has faltered since changing teams; Andre Ethier remains out; and it’s hard to bank on rookie Andrew Toles keeping up his torrid pace. Having Puig — an insanely talented young outfielder with past big-league success — around should be a blessing — should be serving as the operative words.
If you’re a Dodgers fan, you can only hope that Puig has had his come-to-Jesus moment, and that he’s about to hit his way onto the postseason roster (and perhaps act his way onto the 2017 roster). Shy of that, enjoy him while you can — because this is probably his last chance in L.A.
Source: CBS Sports / Dodgers recall Yasiel Puig for what’s likely his last shot with the team