Culver City Observer -

Puig Returns To Dodgers, Hits Key Home Run


September 8, 2016

Yasiel Puig is back with the Dodgers. Possibly a new, improved Yasiel Puig.

After careful consideration the Dodgers decided to bring the controversial 25-year-old outfielder back from their Oklahoma City farm club.

The announcement was made on Friday, September 2. As a result Puig will be eligible to be with the Dodgers for the October playoffs the same as several other players who were brought up when roster limits were increased to 40 for the season's stretch drive.

The Dodgers received positive reports from Oklahoma City's management regarding Puig's attitude and performance following his demotion.

"Yasiel did everything we asked him to do," said Dodger manager Dave Roberts "We feel he's a better person and a better teammate now.That was the deciding factor.

"They said he showed up on time daily and worked hard to improve shortcomings which contributed to his demotion."

Puig batted .348 including five home runs during his brief stay with Oklahona City. He played in 24 games there.

By contrast Josh Reddick, who replaced him as the Dodgers' right fielder, hit only .161 since being acquired in a trade with the Oakland Athletics.

In the Dodgers' 7-4 win over San Diego on Sunday Jose DeLeon made his major league debut. At 24 he's considered the Dodgers' No. 1 pitching prospect and he looked good to me, more advanced than Julio Urias and stronger.

But he gave up a home run and the Padres took a 2-0 lead. But then Puig hit a three-run homer, which prompted Vin Scully to observe "he must have thought of this moment every day in Oklahoma City."

Afterward Puig thanked teammates for having confidence in him and said he's doing things right.

"When you do your job, when you prepare properly everything is easier," he said. "I'm doing that now and I wasn't doing it before."

Puig's homer started the Dodgers off on a spree that advanced them four games ahead of the San Francisco Giants going into Tuesday's games.

They're succeeding in an unorthodox manner as Deleon was their seventh different starting pitcher in the last seven games. They've had 15 starting pitchers this season, the most of any major league team.

With Puig back and with Clayton Kershaw likely to start a game Friday the Dodgers are closing in on a playoff berth.

They trailed the Giants by eight games earlier this season but they've turned everything around.


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