Yasiel Puig was not in Wednesday’s lineup, but did pinch-hit in the seventh inning and also was the subject of an interview on ESPN’s SportsCenter and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.
While the interview with Guillermo was a lighthearted skit for Kimmel’s show, he discussed what he’s learned in the Majors and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ goals with ESPN. Puig was also asked about manager Don Mattingly and credited his manager for teaching the team:
He is always doing his job and teaching us while sharing his experiences in New York.”
Puig also added the Dodgers are trying to get on the same page as their manager:
We are trying to understand him and one day we can accomplish his expectations and do what he did in New York.”
Puig has shown better maturity and evolution as a player in his sophomore season, though he was benched for arriving late the day of the Dodgers’ home opener. He acknowledged his tardiness is something that must be improved:
Coming to the stadium early every day, because sometimes I come late and this is something I have to work on.
Prior to the benching, Mattingly questioned Puig’s tendency to claim an injury when things didn’t break in his favor. The right fielder’s troubles this season led to a team meeting in which Puig asked for his teammates to help with his development.
Puig had a hot month of May that came with him being move to third in the lineup and Hanley Ramirez bumped up to second. While battling hip injuries in June, Puig struggled at batted just .248 with five RBIs.
The Dodgers’ 2014 season got off to a less than stellar start and followed a similar path as the first half of last year. Injuries have again been a prevailing story, but behind a strong June, the Dodgers climbed back into the National League West picture.
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