Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has been very vocal about the Dodgers success after they started the season 30-42 and have suddenly ascended to the top of the NL West standings.
At the forefront has been Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez as both have been hitting the ball all over the yard, which has translated into the Dodgers going an incredible 42-10 in their last 52 games.
This afternoon, manager Don Mattingly talked to Jim Bowden and Casey Stern of SiriusXM about all things Puig:
It’s a fine line. We got a kid here who’s fun to watch, tons of energy and he’s been a good teammate. When he goes bad and we win, he’s as loud as anyone in there. He comes to win. We just try to harness the other and keep teaching about the simple stuff. Yesterday with the media got blown out of proportion.
In recent days, the media has been very critical of Puig, even so far as to suggest that the Dodgers should bench him for all the base running and defensive mistakes he’s made.
Helping his efforts is Ramirez, who before a shoulder injury was tearing the cover off the ball, seems to be enjoying his first full season with the Dodgers.
Hanley’s hitting .356 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs and put himself into the NL MVP race before his injury. However, Mattingly was quick to praise his shortstop during his time with the Dodgers:
Maybe a little bit of everything. I think we’re a good place for him. He was kind of the guy here (Miami) and put a lot of pressure on himself. We’ve seen none of the bad stuff and he’s been a leader in our clubhouse. He came back with a team feeling about him after the WBC.
It’s pretty clear that Hanley and Puig are two of the main reasons for the Dodgers turnaround as they’ll continue to ride them the rest of the season and hopefully postseason.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out the latest on Matt Kemp’s ankle injury.