Yasiel Puig’s injury-plagued and thus subpar and frustrating season took another hit Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder came up lame after legging out an infield single in the eighth inning.
Puig was immediately removed and an MRI on Wednesday morning revealed a mild right hamstring strain. It’s the second time this season Puig suffered a hamstring injury, though the first was a strain in his left leg that was more severe, forcing the Cuban native to miss 39 games.
Since debuting in the Majors in June of 2013, Puig has seemingly been under constant scrutiny. That’s intensified this season as he’s struggled to meet expectations and faced more criticism in the wake of Molly Knight’s book that pulled the curtain back on the Dodgers clubhouse.
However, whether he’s accepted by others or not is no longer a worry for Puig, according to ESPN’s Mark Saxon:
Yasiel Puig has been a polarizing figure in the game for so long now, he’s no longer concerned, he says, about whether people like him or not. “You always have to go through these difficulties, but the people who are next to me trust me and support me,” Puig said in Spanish.
As for the success he had through his first two seasons with the Dodgers, Puig left open the possibility it was tied to being somewhat anonymous:
Probably the success I’ve had in the last two years was because nobody knew me. Could be,” he said. “But I will always be successful in this sport, because that is what I have always done since age 11.”
The Dodgers believe Puig can avoid the disabled list with the balky right hamstring and the outfielder expressed confidence in himself turning his fortunes around down the stretch of the season:
I’m sure I can get out of this bad time in this final part and in the postseason, where it will be even more important,” Puig said.
Puig also went on to reiterate his desire is to remain in Los Angeles, but he understands the business aspect to the sport and would ultimately play for any team. The Dodgers placed the dynamic 24 year old on waivers this month, then pulled him back after a team put in claim; that ensured Puig will remain with the Dodgers at least through this season.
The work in the batting cages and tinkering with his batting stance was beginning to pay dividends for Puig as he has a five-game hitting streak and has at least one hit in six of the last seven games. He’s batting .333/.385/.667 during that stretch and tied a career high with five RBIs in a single game.