Among the criticisms Yasiel Puig has faced since debuting with the Los Angeles Dodgers in June of 2013 are his ill-advised decisions and mental breakdowns on the basepaths.
Last season, Puig was at the center of two triple plays turned against the Dodgers — first in July by the Cleveland Indians and again in August by the New York Mets. Puig also struggled at times in getting back to first base, seemingly refusing to dive back with any regularity, and he was picked off multiple times.
Puig’s lax attitude on the bases is also believed to have been the reasoning behind Matt Kemp’s outburst in the dugout when the Dodgers were in Colorado. The still-young and learning outfielder said during the offseason a goal of his for 2015 was to improve on the bases.
While Puig hasn’t necessarily been in situations this spring where he was able to demonstrate any growth, he used a savvy technique to steal second base against the Chicago White Sox. With Adrian Gonzalez at the plate and in a 2-0 count, Puig broke for second base, stuck his left hand out to bait a tag attempt from Alexei Ramirez before getting in safely by reaching out for the bag with his right hand.