Dave Roberts is highly regarded for his player management. Everyone seems to love him, and he seems to love everyone. Yasiel Puig is no different.
After praising Puig earlier in the offseason, Roberts said Puig is among the best right fielders in baseball, if not the best.
Roberts said there might not be a better RF in the game than Puig. The club wants him to play every day, if the performance deserves it.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 15, 2017
The story with Puig has always been the same: The talent is there, but can he put it together? 2017 entails the question.
After his demotion to the minors, Puig hit .281 with four homers and 11 RBI – all while being a model citizen. Puig said last month he wanted to be a starter again, be it in Los Angeles or somewhere else.
There have long been rumors of the Dodgers shopping Puig, yet no deal ever materialized. It’s in both parties’ best interest to give him a chance to earn the starting role back. If Puig excels, both benefit. Even if the Dodgers’ end game is to send Puig elsewhere, the only way he’ll rebuild value is through playing.
If Roberts is sincere, Puig will get a fair opportunity to be the starting right fielder opening day. If he keeps it is up to him.