In Chavez Ravine, the hype and excitement surrounding Yasiel Puig rivals any arrival short of Mannywood
Regardless of how long it has been, though, it’s been longer since the Dodgers have been this desperate for help — coming off the worst May in club history.
While expectations for the Cuban outfielder are sky high, the two questions I keep asking myself are: are expectations too high? and how good does Puig have to be to stick around beyond Kemp’s return from the DL?
The answer to the first is simple: yes, they’re way too high.
Remember that Puig has been tearing up everything in sight — yet nothing he’s seen resembles anything close to what he’ll face in the next couple of weeks.
(Although, I guess the Padres are pretty close).
Secondly, how good does Puig need to be?
For starters, Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp will be in the lineup everyday when healthy — Crawford because he’s earned it by his play this season and Kemp because he’s the face of the franchise.
Sure, he’s struggled, but every star struggles eventually and they can’t let him sit on the bench without working his way through it.
That leaves us with Andre Ethier — the third outfielder and another guy who it’s hard to imagine Puig will replace.
With $85 million tied up in Ethier, the Dodgers would be foolish to bench him in favor of Puig unless he starts going insane.
So what does “insane” look like?
Assuming Puig plays in 10 games while Kemp remains out, hat kind of numbers would he have to put up?
What if he hits .270 with two home runs and stole a couple bases?
I say no chance he doesn’t find himself back in the minors.
What about hitting .300 with a few home runs?
I think we’re getting closer to the possibility of him sticking around, and yet, can we expect him to put up numbers like that?
It’s all a guessing game at this point, but for a Dodger fan, it’s a better one than guessing whose infield pop-up goes higher between Luis Cruz and Ramon Hernandez.
At the very least we’ve got the next 11 days — but after that? We’ll see.