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Yasiel Puig Demotion Seems Unnecessary and Pointless

Yasiel Puig

The trade deadline has been crazy enough. The flurry of moves ended on Monday at 1 PM PST with the Dodgers acquiring three players and a minor leaguer. The next bit of news comes as even more of a surprise. We are learning that Yasiel Puig will be optioned to Oklahoma City on Tuesday. According to the reports he will arrive on time.

We’ve been hearing the trade rumors surrounding Puig all season long. However this is quite a shocking turn of events. The Dodgers were reportedly trying to move him but the deadline came and went with Puig staying put. Then Ken Rosenthal broke the news that the Dodgers had told Puig that he would be traded or demoted. The original report stated that he had “stormed off” and refused to board the team plane to Colorado.

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Apparently that was false as Rosenthal later rescinded his original tweet and said that Puig was merely following directions by not boarding the flight to Denver. It would make sense that he didn’t fly with the club since he was told he was being traded or demoted. Would you have gotten on a plane when given specific directions otherwise?

It seems that the front office has had enough of his disappointing offensive production. Puig’s hitting is nowhere near where it was back in 2013-2014. He also spent more time on the disabled list earlier in the season with hamstring problems. While he is a good defender with a great arm, he has not been a good hitter in nearly two years. There have been no reports of off the field incidents this season but perhaps his checkered history has played a part.

When the Dodgers first announced the trade with Oakland to acquire Rich Hill and Josh Reddick, I figured Reddick could play left field allowing Puig to stay and Howie Kendrick to move back to second base. That was if the front office didn’t move him. However Reddick has seen most of his playing days in right field and has appeared in only 27 career games in left field.

So the Dodgers are sending Puig to the minors. It seems like a pointless move to me. The Cuban Right handed hitting outfielder had just gotten back into the lineup on Sunday afternoon and collected 3 hits in the Dodger’s 14-3 win over Arizona. Those 3 hits raised his average to .260. Overall Pug is slashing .260/.320/.386 with 7 home runs and 34 runs batted in and a .706 OPS in 303 plate appearances this season. He is also hitting .324 with runners in scoring position.

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Puig’s production may have dipped but what does optioning him do? It does nothing because playing in Oklahoma City is not going to cure his hitting problems. They might as well just trade him now, or release him and eat the rest of his contract.

Why demote Puig and let Mendoza line players like Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Zach Walters remain with the club? Those guys are hitting much worse than Puig has. His production may have dropped but he still has incredible talent and the ability to do so much in the field. Why waste that in Oklahoma City?

This seems so ridiculous. The Dodgers will begin a three-game series at Denver against the Rockies on Tuesday night without Yasiel Puig. Do you guys think the Dodgers are making the right move? Or is this an unnecessary demotion that can hurt the club? It’s not like Puig destroys uniforms or anything like that.

What do you guys think?

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

24 thoughts on “Yasiel Puig Demotion Seems Unnecessary and Pointless

  1. The genius of this move, like all the other moves, will be revealed in time. We won’t know exactly when that time comes because, being morons, we won’t recognize it, but Timmons will return and explain it to us.

    Until then, enjoy the show.

  2. Maybe they’re trying to get him to pull an Arrubarena so they don’t have to pay him? Seems like they could have traded him for Reddick before the season. No thanks to Molly Ivans.

      1. Sorry. Got my Molly’s mixed up. Meant the one who trashed Puig in her book. Thanks for catching that.

  3. Puig has been in and out of the lineup consistently. Every time he hustles hard to first to beat out a ground ball, it seems he tweaks his hammy.

    I hope we’re sending someone to AAA with him who he’s comfortable with. He needs a babysitter. Hopefully he can regain his stroke as well as be humbled a bit. Based on our injury curse this year, I’m sure somebody else will go down soon, thus requiring Puig to come back up and save us.

  4. The genius remarks notwithstanding (I agree), this move should have happened a long time ago, but the way it was done now seem odd, seems like a poor Management move especially when far worse hitters are still in LA.

    1. Right on. We should be used to “Poor Management Move” by now but they still surprise me. I’m astonished that people who are apparently intelligent enough to buy multi-billion dollar baseball teams hire people from small, cheap teams to manage their billion dollar operation, and then ignore them as they make mistake after mistake. Not that this Puig thing is necessarily a mistake yet, more that it should have been done sooner when he might have been more agreeable to it.

  5. Also, I think Puig will be back with the big club if they don’t just give up on him and release him.

    He’s under control for a few years on a very favorable contract. And he’s still a plus defender…and possibly more than that.

    In AAA, after having had the team formally take his position away by trading for another player to play it he MAY finally “get it” that they’re seriously done with dealing with lateness, overrunning bases, not hitting cutoff men, and whatever other juvenile, primadonna crap we don’t hear about, etc…but I’m not holding my breath.

    Or, one of our other “outfielders” – quotes because Howie ain’t an outfielder but he’s doing a yeoman’s job and not bitching either – gets hurt and Puig has to be brought back in a few days/weeks. I don’t see them just giving up and eating his contract OR trading for just anybody – cause they could have already done that but didn’t. Though San Diego did with Matt!

    We haven’t seen the end of Yasiel Puig yet, maybe soon but not quite yet

  6. Scott-

    To answer your question….cause Kike, Taylor & Walters were acquired by FAZ. Puig was not. Friedman & Zaidi are full of themselves.

    1. This is a silly comment. Puig really only plays right field. Kike and Taylor have defensive flexibility because they play multiple positions. SVS used to be lefty masher specialist and can play first. The emergence of Toles and the acquisition of Reddick means there’s just no place for Puig on the team. His defense has been good this year, and he was hitting marginally better since he came off the disabled list, but his inability to get it after three years made this the only decision.

  7. I agree with the article. He’s hitting .260 and has been on the uptick since he came off the DL. Now we play 3 games in the largest outfield in baseball and have Howie Kendrick trying to cover all that ground. Definitely an unnecessary decision.

    I keep hearing about results. Kike, Walters, SVS, and Taylor are on the roster and have done even less. Everyone acts like Thompson is just this awesome pickup. Yes, he has potential, but he’s hitting .230. Joc is hitting .240. Seems like he’s being scapegoated unless there are still off field stuff.

    Now if they think sending him down is best for his baseball development, fine, but you can’t tell me that sending him down puts the best 25 men on the roster.

  8. I think Cotton and Montas were good trade pieces. Montas has had too many surgeries to convince me he will stay healthy. Cotton is good enough to be desirable but not so good that anybody would worry that he will make the team regret trading him.

    Holmes could be another Koufax except for gaining the control and command that finally made Koufax, Koufax.

    Dodgers needed to do something and although they didn’t get Archer etc, they got what they could get that made since. Maybe they should have traded Kazmir for some of the prospects other teams were getting for their veterans and then go with De Leon, Urias, Stewart to replace Kazmir in the lineup.

    1. Scott:
      Sending Puig down after we acquired Reddick may be a wakeup call for him. I know Puig has been injured this year but so has Reddick and if we look a little further into this years stats, well see for yourself:
      Reddick Puig
      OPS .816 ,706
      Vs RHP .341 .271
      LHP .172 .231
      RISP .341 .324
      RISP(2 outs) .318 .211
      Tie Game .272 .211

      Defensively: Puig hands down but Reddick is also a RF and hasn’t played LF since 2011. Just a little more in depth info, that’s all.

  9. I would have to agree about Puig. He is clearly a frustrating player, always toying on the edge of breaking out of medoicrity. But, he is clearly injury-prone and can’t seem to produce more than an average starter does.

    The rest of the league must think the same way as no other team made any kind of noise trying to acquire him. I still think it is a weak move sending him to the minors, but I can live with it. What bothers me more is the seeming lack of vision for this team that FAZ & CiE seem to have. There really is no clear future direction except farming the farm and hoping the injured recover enough to be put back into the trenches until they blow up again. They have just enough talent to squeak by in a weak division. Champions, they are not. And, the building of a champion is clearly far off at present.

  10. Well my 2018 & Beyond team changed a bit as I had all 3 of those guys who left on it. Don’t have either of the two that arrived penciled in. As for this year? Hard to say, but I don’t see this move putting us over the top. I like Rich Hill I suppose, but even if he does come back I see him as another 5 inning pitcher. In fact, I thought he became a relief pitcher a few years ago. He’s never been a horse, never threw 200 in his career and only came close once and that was ten years ago. But, a 36 year old injured pitcher can’t really come as a surprise can it?

    Did anyone notice we dumped a Cuban for another reliever? Just read it at DD.

    1. Badger
      I mentioned that trade in the last article.

      I think there is more to this, then the obvious.

      Remember when Puig went out last year for a hammy, and then he came back quite soon.

      And Mattingly said something to the press about how Puig healed Miraculously, and was able to play.

      Maybe Puig’s hammy wasn’t really that bad, and he just did that not to be traded.

      Because he had no problem playing on Sunday.

      And Puig didn’t want to be traded.

      And about him getting those hits in that last game, four of our young players, went off on the Dbacks bullpen in that game.

      But most of those pitchers, had just came up straight from AAA, and I believe that is why they were hit so hard.

  11. I think Puig is a problem, most of us will admit that. But I too think there are less productive players on the team who could have been sent down. We all know personalities are always a consideration. We don’t really know if he was tradeable or not. There may have been 20 offers on him that FAZ will never admit. Yes, Puig is a problem, but some of us know know what the biggest problem is that the Dodgers have… It’s spelled F-A-Z.

  12. Overall, Reddick is an upgrade on Puig, especially in regards hitting consistency. Any player who has 3 yrs of declining OPS is on shaky ground. I am concerned about FAZ and their enchantment with SP who are injury prone. No wonder we need so much depth!

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