Yasiel Puig's tumultuous 2016 put him on thin ice, but he improved his attitude and patience at the plate en route to a career-best home run total and BB/K (0.64). The Cuban import nearly doubled his walk rate (to 11.2 percent) and finally tapped into the type of power that many thought he had but which had yet to manifest itself. He fell just two homers shy of 30 despite a 48.1 percent groundball rate. Puig scuffled against lefties (.183/.317/.275) and has a reverse platoon split for his career, but he's still historically hit lefties at an above-average level, so there may be room for batting-average growth. His near Gold Glove defense should keep him as a starter entering his contract year, and his run and RBI totals could improve with a more regular spot in the heart of the batting order -- the majority of his at-bats (204) came from the eight hole last season.
Puig went 2-for-2 with a home run, a walk, two RBI, and four runs scored in Saturday's victory over the Rockies. Puig was a major contributor to the Dodgers' win Saturday, as he scored four of the team's five runs. Although he endured a stretch that saw him hit just .160 with a .314 OPS over seven games from Sept. 16-23, Puig seems to have broken out of his slump and is looking to finish the season on a strong note. Over the last four games he's 5-for-11 at the dish, with two of his hits being home runs. His recent efforts have brought his line up to .263/.345/.488 for the year.
Puig went 2-for-3 with a homer and a pair of RBI against the Padres on Wednesday. He'd been scuffling of late, having started only seven of the Dodgers' past 11 games -- a span in which Puig put up a .179/.200/.214 line. Nonetheless, it's been a redemptive season for the talented Cuban, who's easily set new personal bests in homers (27) and steals (15) as well as RBI (72). With the playoffs looming, it's a good time for him to get going on a fresh hot streak.
Puig is in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Padres. Puig was held out of Monday's lineup as a disciplinary measure following a late arrival to the ballpark, but as indicated Monday, his punishment will be limited to the one game. Puig will start in right field and hit sixth in the Dodgers' batting order Tuesday night.
Puig will start Tuesday despite arriving late to the field Monday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Manager Dave Roberts expressed frustration with Puig, but apparently, his only punishment will be sitting Monday's game against San Diego. Perhaps the better news here is that the ankle tweak Puig sustained Saturday is no longer bothering him, as he was forced to miss Sunday's game because of it.
Puig is out Monday because he arrived late for a workout, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Puig also tweaked his ankle Saturday, but it appears Monday's absence from the lineup isn't about the injury. Andre Ethier is starting in the outfield Tuesday, and it's unclear when Puig will be back in the Dodgers' lineup.