Limited by a troublesome hamstring, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has only played in 11 of the club’s 52 games this season. Despite missing one of their more dynamic players, the Dodgers are 31-21 and sitting atop the National League West division standings.
Along with Puig being sidelined, the Dodgers are currently without Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke. While Crawford was transferred to the 60-day disabled list and Van Slyke just recently getting placed on the 15-day DL, Puig appears to be nearing a return. According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, the Cuban native will begin a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga Thursday when they begin a four-game series in Lancaster:
Puig will start a minor league rehabilitation assignment tomorrow with Rancho.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) June 3, 2015
While the length of Puig’s rehab assignment wasn’t specified, it’s plausible he will then join the Dodgers at some point next week, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Puig could rejoin Dodgers next week.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) June 3, 2015
Thursday marks the second time Puig has joined the Quakes on a rehab assignment since being placed on the DL with the strained left hamstring April 26. He successfully served as a designated hitter in his first game and played right field the following night (May 8), but was removed early after coming up lame on an attempt to beat out a high chopper.
A subsequent MRI confirmed the strain and temporarily shut Puig down. When the Dodgers began their seven-game road trip last week he was among a group of players who were sent to the club’s Camelback Ranch Spring Training facility in Arizona to continue with their respective rehabs.
Days prior to news of Puig’s second rehab stint being scheduled, he was cleared to run curved lines, which is generally the final hurdle for players recovering from a hamstring injury. Puig this season is batting .279/.380/.465 with two home runs, four RBIs, seven strikeouts and five walks in 50 plate appearances.
After concluding a four-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, the Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks (Monday-Wednesday) before an off-day Thursday and a weekend series in San Diego.