After missing six weeks due to a strained left hamstring, Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig has been slowed in recent days by a callus/blister on the palm of his left hand.
The callus tore open Monday when the Dodgers began their 10-game road trip in Chicago. Puig managed to play through it the first two games of the series before being scratched from the lineup in each of the final two after another tear open during Wednesday’s batting practice.
The issue wasn’t yet resolved when the Dodgers arrived in Miami as Puig was again out of the lineup for the series opener on Friday and Saturday, the second of the three-game set with the Marlins. He did manage a pinch-hit appearance in both games, going 0-for-2 in the at-bats.
While Puig’s availability has been limited, he remains upbeat. During a media session with reporters on Friday, Puig responded to a playful jab from Kenley Jansen with a quick-witted remark of his own, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Puig was in good spirits Friday as he spoke to a group of Spanish-speaking reporters. At some point, he was interrupted by closer Kenley Jansen, who said in jokingly in Spanish, “What a bunch of …” Puig smiled and responded: “Why are you here if you can’t pitch?”
When asked what he wanted to improve on, Puig again prodded Jansen:
Still smiling, Puig looked over at Jansen and said, “I want to help the team get to the ninth inning in better position because we have a closer who scares us every time he pitches.”
In their respective returns from stints on the disabled list, both Jansen and Puig have been impressive. The right-handed closer has converted on all but one of 11 save opportunities, and has 24 strikeouts to zero walks with one run allowed in 14.2 innings.
Puig strung together a seven-game hitting streak upon returning with the Dodgers going 5-2 during that stretch. He’s since put together a current four-game hitting streak in games which he’s started.