Yasiel Puig tied a Los Angeles Dodgers franchise record for hits in one month during May, then had a drastic drop off during June. Puig hit .398 in May with eight home runs, 25 RBIs and a 1.224 OPS.
Comparatively in June, he had a .248 batting average, zero home runs, five RBIs and .657 OPS. One explanation for the decline in production may be the hip injuries Puig dealt with, which led to him resigning to the fact he’d have to play through pain.
Manager Don Mattingly didn’t start Puig Wednesday due to his belief the right fielder looked tired. Prior to the Dodgers beginning a four-game series with the Colorado Rockies Thursday, Mattingly said Puig appears frustrated, which may stem from his lack of home runs, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Yasiel to me has been a little frustrated. The Cardinals seemed to frustrate him. Kansas City, too – he hit a few balls there right on the nose. He had a couple that would have been home runs anywhere else.
Puig hasn’t hit a home run since May 28 and is hopeful to receive an invitation to participate in the Home Run Derby. Captain of the National League team, Troy Tulowitzki said he intends to speak with Puig regarding the matter.
Mattingly gave Puig his vote of confidence with respect to the Derby, but admitted he’s surprised Puig hasn’t homered in just over five weeks and also expressed some concern with the pressure that may begin to mount:
That’s the thing I worry about with young guys. When you guys write that they haven’t hit a home run in a while, when that gets noted up and it’s out there, they start to change their approach. He just needs to stay in the middle of the field. That’s when he’s going his best.”
Puig will have three more games in hitter-friendly Coors Field to not only attempt to snap his home-run drought, but also find his swing. However, he’ll start Friday against a pitcher he’s never faced in his brief career — Jair Jurrjens.
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