Yasiel Puig’s sophomore season got off to a bit of a rocky start. Manager Don Mattingly was somewhat critical of Puig’s tendency to claim he’s injured and the outfielder later asked for help with his development in a team meeting.
The calendar hit May and Puig emerged as the biggest threat in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup as he hit .398 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs. Puig then cooled in June and has slightly improved thus far in July.
When asked about his struggles, Puig gave credit to the pitching he and the Dodgers have faced, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
They’re pitching me tough,” he said. “But not just to me, to the whole team. We haven’t scored many runs. There are still plenty of games. We know we’ll finish the second half will go well.”
Puig pointed to May, when he tied franchise record for hits in a single month, as the standard he’d like to reach:
Like May, yes, but April, no. I was the player of the month in May. In April, I was lost.”
The right fielder furthered his remarks with the belief he’ll improve in the second half of the season:
We’ll see what happens in the second half of the season. I know it will be a lot better for me and for the rest of the team. We know where we’re trying to get, the playoffs and the World Series.”
Puig was removed from the game in the eighth inning Saturday after being struck on the left hand in the third. He’s hitting .294 in 14 July games with one home run and seven RBIs and is not in Sunday’s lineup.
Without Puig, the Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound as they look to end a two-game losing streak.
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