|(photo by Jon SooHoo/L.A. Dodgers)|
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Puig...and the hits just keep on coming!
“Faster than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird, no, it’s a plane, it’s...Yasiel Puig.” I know, here I go again but what Puig is doing is almost super human.
10 for 11 now and counting. He went another 3 for 3, and completely took over the game, sparking the Dodgers to three offensive rallies in their 10-4 win over the Chicago White Sox before a Cactus League record attendance.
Not only is Puig setting the desert on fire with his torrid hitting, but he’s capturing a swell of fan support that I predict will surface as another “Mania” in Los Angeles. Last night’s crowd was lighting up with excitement as he entered the game. Can you imagine 50,000 at Dodger Stadium when this kid puts up numbers at Dodger Stadium?
He rips a single into left field and he’s immediately thinking double. He challenges outfielder’s arms. He challenges pitchers while on base and distracts them on the mound, forcing physical and mental errors. He puts pressure on catchers who are constantly dealing with his base stealing threat. I’m not old enough to have experienced seeing what Jackie Robinson did on the base paths, but I've seen footage. Is it possible that Puig raises the same havoc as Jackie did? I'd be interested in knowing what Old Brooklyn fans think of that.
He’s somewhat of a pioneer. A player like Puig emerging from Cuba certainly must have MLB organizations wondering if there are others like him stuck on that island nation. Popular Dodger blogs are already giving him the moniker “”The Cuban Missile.” Here he is, less than 100 minor league at bats to his credit and we are seriously discussing him supplanting one of the three Dodger All Star outfielders for a starting spot.
How can we not? It has gotten to the point that if Puig has a 2 for 4 day, his batting average will descend 10 points. Those are insane numbers. Meaningless Spring Training numbers, but respectable nonetheless. 10 for his last 11 is inhuman. Just when I resign myself to Puig going down to the minors, I can’t help but get excited about him mashing against the Giants in the opening series.
This kid has to make the club and get playing time. Spelling Crawford twice a week in LF. Platooning for Ethier against lefties. Giving Kemp an additional day off. There's room on this team.
Hyun-Jin Ryu was stretched out to seven innings last night. He yielded two runs and one hit on the night, settling down after a rough start. Ryu, who has been questioned by many followers due to his failure to report in tip-top shape to camp, is looking to be a quality number 4 or 5 starter.