The Dodgers officially activated Yasiel Puig for last night’s game against the Nationals. Puig had not played in a game since June 2nd against Chicago. The Dodgers right fielder has been battling a hamstring injury which landed him on the 15-day disabled list. Puig was originally scheduled to be activated on Monday against the Nationals but it was pushed back a day.
When asked why Puig’s activation was pushed back, Roberts said, “We had him scheduled for today, but I think it’s just to give him an extra day.” “To give him an extra day and also get Trayce and Howie back in there, with that continuity, I felt that was the right thing to do.”
It’s not surprising that the Dodgers were willing to bring Puig back a day later. After a hot start during the first week of the season, Puig slowed down considerably and was batting .237 with 5 home runs and 20 RBI in 53 games before landing on the disabled list. Also since June 3rd, the day that Puig was placed on the disabled list, the Dodgers have a record of 11-6. Trayce Thompson has also embraced the role of the everyday right fielder and has played it extremely well. Because of how well he has played, it has been reported that Thompson may start even after Puig returns.
This has stirred up much debate among Dodgers fan about which player should get more playing time. Puig supporters typically point to the fact that he is still only 25-years-old and hasn’t hit his prime yet. Thompson supporters typically point to the fact that Thompson is the hot player and that he seems to live for the late inning long ball.
— Enrique Hernández (@kikehndez) June 8, 2016
— Adrián González (@Adrian_ElTitan) June 8, 2016
Some fans are so happy with Thompson’s performance that they have even gone as far as to say that they think Puig should be traded, preferably for another top of the rotation arm.
— Justintime (@Classof14Justin) June 21, 2016
— POPS BUSTAMANTE (@PopsMusicPeace) June 8, 2016
— Mibelt Rodriguez (@MibeltRodriguez) June 4, 2016
This has also led to multiple rumors about where Puig could end up. The general consensus seems to be that if the Dodgers move Puig it will be to either the Braves or the A’s for Julio Teheran or Sonny Gray respectively. This makes sense because for the Dodgers to move a young player like Puig they would want to make sure they got another young player under team control for a long time. Teheran, on the one hand, is only 25-years-old, would be under team control through 2019, and is owed only $26 million. Gray is slightly older, at 26-years-old, and overall is having a bad year with a 5.54 ERA. However, Gray is much more accomplished, finishing 3rd in the Cy Young voting last season and making his first All-Star game appearance.
Either pitcher would be a huge upgrade to a rotation which could use the boost. Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy may be back sooner than later but both would be short term fixes. A player like Teheran or Gray would not only help this season, they would ensure a solid 1-2 punch for years to come.