The Los Angeles Dodgers have not had their complete envisioned roster at any point in 2015, and won’t due to season-ending surgeries for Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy.
However, the team has managed to do well enough for first place in the NL West with right-handers Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias in the starting rotation. All but a few members of the Dodgers have missed days and/or weeks with different injuries this season, including outfielder Yasiel Puig, who missed 39 games with a hamstring issue.
The Dodgers were able to sustain the loss of Puig early on with some strong play from Andre Ethier, Scott Van Slyke and Alex Guerrero, but eventually they all cooled off to some extent and the Dodger offense stalled a bit in May. Puig came back on June 6 and has been a terror at the plate, showing impressive plate discipline and hitting the ball hard. While the team has gone just 5-3 in his return, it’s not for lack of production from the All-Star outfielder.
Teammate Yasmani Grandal believes that Puig has the ability to single-handedly change a game. “You got guys who are trying to pitch to him, and even if he is going bad they’re still trying to pitch around him and not make a mistake because if you make a mistake he might hurt you. He could be on base, he could be on the field, line drive to him he might dive, he might catch it, he might throw a guy out,” Grandal said.
In his eight games since returning from the DL, Puig has hit .419 with a home run, four RBIs and six runs scored. Although the Dodgers were able to play well without their 24-year-old outfielder, fellow outfielder Joc Pederson know what Puig adds to the lineup and the team. “He’s swinging the bat unbelievable. He plays the game hard and adds a lot more thump and a lot more speed, so it’s good to have him back,” the rookie center fielder said.
Once the other hitters in the Dodgers lineup recover from their mini-slumps, the offense could once against start firing on all cylinders with the Puig that returned from injury.
Yasiel Puig Talks Return From Injury