UPDATE (May 13, 2:25 p.m. PT): According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Yasiel Puig will be sidelined for the foreseeable future after his latest setback:
Mattingly said Puig will be out at least another couple of weeks.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 13, 2015
Yasiel Puig successfully got through his first rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga last week and proclaimed himself ready to return with the Los Angeles Dodgers despite going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the Quakes’ designated hitter.
Puig then suited up to play right field as the next step in his rehab and came up lame while attempting to beat out a high chopper. Puig was immediately removed from the game and the Dodgers later announced he was scheduled to undergo an MRI.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said pregame Monday there wasn’t an update available but thought there would be one postgame. When asked about Puig’s status after the Dodgers’ walk-off win, Mattingly offered few details.
“I know it wasn’t anything major,” Mattingly said. “We definitely had a little bit of a setback, though. We’ve obviously slowed the rehab down and get him healthy.”
On Tuesday Mattingly expanded on his previous remarks and remained optimistic over the situation. “It wasn’t necessarily good news, but I don’t feel we’re starting all the way over,” he said along with adding the MRI didn’t reveal a new tear.
“The MRI shows a strain, we know there is one.” When pressed if Puig has been shut down, the fifth-year manager implied as much. “I guess in a sense,” Mattingly said.
“You know, they’re always doing something, so you’re never really shut down. I’m sure they’ll let it calm down a couple of days and then kind of get back on the program — as far as building toward doing bike, doing water, doing bases.”
Puig was eligible to be reinstated from the disabled list Sunday (May 10), though Mattingly said he wouldn’t join the Dodgers for the final game in Colorado. Had all gone well, Puig presumably would’ve been activated Monday.
The left hamstring strain initially forced Puig to miss three games. He returned April 18 but sat out April 19 due to what was characterized as soreness in the hamstring. Puig played in the Dodgers’ next game April 21 and pulled it April 24, which resulted in him being placed on the DL for the first time in his career two days later.
In total, Puig has only played in 11 of the Dodgers’ 32 games this season, batting .279/.380/.465 with two home runs and four RBIs. The Dodgers have gone 16-5 in games Puig has missed, 11-4 since the All-Star right fielder was placed on the DL, which includes a current five-game winning streak.
Given the volatile nature of a hamstring injury, coupled with the setback and production the Dodgers have received from Andre Ethier in Puig’s absence, it’s unlikely the Cuban native will take the field with the Dodgers anytime in the near future.