To Puig or Not To Puig

hamlet

The Dodgers have just won their third division title in a row.  That’s a team record.  As they venture into the playoffs for an unprecedented third consecutive year, the team is spending these four days (Monday through Thursday) getting ready.  One side benefit to the home field advantage is that they don’t need to travel between yesterday’s game and the playoff preparations.  So what’s going on before Friday?  Some players like Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez are getting crucial rest, so that Turner’s knee will be a little better and Gonzalez’s pinched nerve hopefully gets un-pinched.  Other players are likely working on their hitting, fielding, and pitching skills so they don’t get rusty in the ensuing four days.

Meanwhile, the front office, together with Don Mattingly, are making last minute updates to the playoff roster.  Most decisions are pretty clear.  Those that are not clear include the last one or two guys in the bullpen.  The other issue involves Scott Van Slyke, who is currently dealing with inflammation in his right wrist.  Actually, it seems he has been dealing with this inflammation for a while now.  Which brings up the concern:

To Puig, or not to Puig? That is the question—
Whether ’tis nobler in Donnie’s mind to suffer
The missed cutoff men and hurtful TOOTBLAN’s,
Or use the inflamed arm of Scott Van Slyke,
And, in this platoon, sit Puig? To win, to quest—
No more—and by a quest to say we end
The heartache of a twenty seven year drought
This team is heir to—’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished! To win, to triumph!
To conquer, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub,
For in that wish of victory what dreams may come
When we have stifled the wild horse’s over-exuberance
Lest we shall think. There’s the respect
That could give Vin Scully one more championship.
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55 thoughts on “To Puig or Not To Puig

  1. Here’s a new post we can use to comment on during the off-days. In searching for a picture of Hamlet that has blue coloring, I stumbled upon this one with Andre’s name. Not quite appropriate, but humorous nonetheless. I was hoping for Andre to be the guest manager yesterday, but I can understand the choice of Rollins, given (a) Andre was in the outfield, (b) Rollins is now on the bench given Corey Seager’s “coming of age”.

    I’m guessing Seager is the shortstop for the playoffs? He’s certainly got the bat that we need.

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  2. Puig. It’s no-brainer for me, anyway. If SVS has a bad wrist, you can’t play baseball. Period. Maybe football, but not baseball. The wrist is crucial to hitting a baseball. And it’s crucial to throwing or catching a baseball. Besides, some act like Puig is some journeyman .225 hitter with limited defensive skills. Puig is an elite player. His brain still needs some fine tuning…but so does Donnie’s.

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    • So,if Puig is in…..no Ruggiano or Heisey?! I don’t think Yasiel is 100%…perhaps by Friday he will be. I’m not crazy about using him.

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      • Here’s what I think: eleven pitchers (Kersh, Greinke, Anderson, Wood, Jansen, Hatcher, Howell, Nicasio, Avilan, Baez, Garcia)

        Fourteen position players: two catchers (Grandal, Ellis), six infielders (Gonzalez, Utley, Kendrick, Seager, Turner, Rollins), six outfielders (Crawford, Pederson, Ethier, Ruggiano, Hernandez, and Van Slyke or Puig).

        Donnie’s gonna go all platoon in the outfield (although Hernandez might play cf full time).

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  3. Crash: Excellent writing! This play-off scenario could be Shakespearian.! Is Puig ready for MLB play-off caliber performance? I haven’t seen anything that shows me he can Hit, Throw or Catch at the level of competency needed. I am not monitoring him hourly, so I can’t gauge from the 2 games he has been in.
    We have a OF assembled without him, LHP: Ruggs, Kike and SVS or AG and for RHP: Crawford, Joc and Dre.Would I like a productive Puig In RF, You bet: His arm keeps runners honest and he covers that corner, and if that Bat is Hot, There would be no reason not to have him start. But this whole season he has been sedated, as if he was a child that was scolded for saying something they didnt understand was wrong, so he is trying to not offend, which leads him to be ineffective.I would much rather have the flamboyant, Uninhibited Puig rather than this Tentative, always looking over his shoulder Puig that I saw earlier in the year.Let him be himself and play with gusto, if he really is stuck and can’t adjust to major League pitching , then he wont be long for this team, and to get shakespearian, parting is such sweet sorrow.

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  4. I never get involved too much in things I have no control over. I just wait and see what the team will look like once the roster is set. Right now I’m waiting to here from someone in regards to postseason tickets to one of the games played here in New York. If one person doesn’t get back to us, later today, we’ll purchase tickets through Stub-Hub. I’ll let you guys know how this all turns out.
    My daughter and I attended the first game of the 2006 NLDS, the game that Drew and Kent was thrown out together at the plate. That was quite a game, but I can still remember that play which is hard to believe took place 9 years ago. I was the only person in my section wearing Dodger gear. Man was I humiliated but it’s a great memory to know I was in attendance.

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  5. oldbrooklyn, that play was hard to believe alright, and I hope to never see anything like it again. What made it a little tougher to take was it was started by Shawn Green’s throw and Paul LoDuca made the tags. Green was my favorite and I didn’t think LoDuca should have been traded.

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  6. Oldbrooklynfan, we will be looking for you in the games in New York. I’m hoping for a 3-0 Dodger sweep. Maybe you should get tickets for Game 3.

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  7. Still wondering about Puig. I agree that Puig has considerable talent but from what I have read about his play the last two games of the season, for whatever reason he did not go “all out”. So management will have to decide for itself if Puig is able to play or not. At the moment it does not seem as if Van Slyke will be 100% so if it comes down to just those two, I would probably want a less than 100% Puig over a similar Van Slyke.
    Interesting how important these roster moves become following a month in which managers had 35-40 players to use. Clearly the Dodgers success in September had a lot to do with call ups and late season moves. As we said at the beginning of the season, the roster on the last day of the season is usually much different than the roster on the first day.

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  8. I find myself wondering about Yasmani Grandal. He hit .059 (batting average) in September and October (3 hits in 51 at bats). Based on his recent statistics, it seems that he is still suffering from shoulder injury issues. Meanwhile AJ Ellis is really swinging the bat well, hitting .254 in Sept/Oct. I wonder if AJ Ellis will be the starting catcher during the NLDS, with Grandal taking the backup slot.

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  9. Well we just got it arraigned. We’ll be at the game on Monday Oct 12th. It will be great to be at the game. I believe I’ll be in Section 517, which is the top tier, pretty close to home plate.
    I hope the Dodgers will have better luck than they did the last time we went to a Dodger/Met postseason game in 2006.
    .

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  10. OBF, we all hope you have a positive experience at the game.

    I would start A.J. Ellis simply because he is healthy and swinging a hotter bat. Besides, he seems to do well in playoff games.

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    • I agree – that would be the logical move. I hope the team doesn’t get caught up with “Grandal frames the ball better”. At this point, AJ Ellis is the one better prepared to lead us to victory in the playoffs.

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  11. I know everyone here is focused on the joy of the NLDS, but I have to say how disappointed I was to read that the Dodgers led MLB in attendance. With my anger still boiling at the TV debacle, the fact that LA fans would still come in droves sends a not-so-subtle message to to the Guggs. Namely, beat us, whip us, use us, ignore us, we still offer our dollars and loyalty to you no matter what. It illustrates, for me, a complete abuse of all the lasting good will the O’Malleys created for so many years with the true fans of the LA. Dodgers.

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  12. Anyone care to guess at the hero of Game 1? Other than Kershaw, of course. Who is going to drive in the game winning run for the Dodgers?

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  13. Have fun, oldbrooklyn. Be sure to wear your lucky hat.
    *
    Start Ellis.
    *
    I’m going to take a flier and say it’s Rollins and Utley off the bench. What would the odds be on that one?

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    • I have 5 hats or caps, one with a “B”, one with an “LA”, one that has “Brooklyn” and one that has “Dodgers” inscribed across the top. I try to mix and match them depending on my other gear. I also ware one that has a blue “B” with pinstripes.

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  14. SVS not in the post season roster. I don’t think the Dodgers will be forthcoming of a roster till after Thursday Practice. Kershaw gets the nod for Game 1 vs. Righty Degrom. So I would expect and OF of Crawford, Pederson and Dre (all lefties), as much as I favor putting Kike in, it may be that Pederson Starts until a lefty pitcher shows up? The first 3 Mets pitchers are Rightys, therfore I expect Dre to be starting all 3 games. and Hero for the series will be DRE, unless Mattingly does the obtuse and bizarre and does not put Dre in, and if we lose the series without Dre starting , that is grounds to fire Mattingly.

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  15. First game, 5-3 Dodgers. Book it.

    Degrom gives up 4 in the first and one in the second before settling down and going 6. Kersh Ks 8 but tires in the 7th giving up a 2 run bomb to Wright. Hatcher pitches the 8th and gives up another bomb. Kenley comes in in the 9th and gets an un-Kenley like save – 2 sharp grounders and a fly out. Big pokes by AGon in the first (3-run HR) and Crawford (HR) in the second.

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  16. Corey Seager splits so far in his young career – against Righties and Lefties – AB/OBP/SLG/OPS:

    vs. RHP .345/.425/.603/1.028
    vs. LHP .325/.426/.500/.926 – incredible. This kid is unflappable.

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  17. oldbrooklyn, I have two. The blue one they wear everyday and a 1933 Brooklyn cap. I wear the blue one the most, especially when they are doing really well or really bad, but I mix in the Brooklyn cap about a third of the time.

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  18. well then with acknowledgement from non official sources of the roster: I submit for your approval, my thought on Game one Line-up:
    Crawford-LF
    Seager-SS
    Gonzo-1B
    Turner-3B
    DRE- RF
    Kendrick-2B
    Pederson-CF
    AJ-C
    Kershaw-duh

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    • Very nice lineup. I hope they do put Seager way up there in the lineup, we need him at bat as many times as possible. I’m not sure whether Pederson or Kike will get the start in CF. Joc still seems befuddled at the plate, although Kike does not have great numbers against righties.

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      • I had thought of Kike in CF, but I thought I would give JOC a shot vs a righty get some confidence. If Joc is a strike out king, then Game 2 has Kike in. One other thing, Utley has a good BA vs. DeGrom, I could see Utley in also. I trust the rest will help Grandal, but really AJ is healthy and works well with Kershaw, seems to hit better too

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        • Utley and Kendrick should be a platoon at 2B.

          Your lineup gives us this for a bench: Puig, Ruggs, Utley, Grandal, Rollins, Kike. That’s a pretty solid bench – lots of opportunity for solid pinch-hitters.

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  19. Final Roster not out yet. More news on Vinny. 😦 Get Well Soon Vin!

    By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com | @kengurnick | 14 minutes ago + 0 COMMENTS
    LOS ANGELES — Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully underwent a recommended medical procedure Thursday morning and will miss the postseason, the club announced.

    Scully was said to be resting comfortably and “he’s looking forward to returning to the Dodgers for the 2016 season, his 67th with the Dodgers,” which Scully has already announced will be his final season.
    • Shop for Dodgers postseason gear
    Scully, 87, missed the final series of the regular season with what the club said was a cold.
    Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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  20. Ken Gurnick’s guess for NLDS roster (not official!!!)

    Starting pitchers: Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood.
    Relievers: Kenley Jansen, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, Joel Peralta.
    Outfielders: Ethier, Crawford, Hernandez, Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Justin Ruggiano.
    Infielders — Gonzalez, Kendrick, Seager, Turner, Rollins, Utley.
    Catchers – Ellis, Yasmani Grandal.

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  21. Hmmmm, just waiting. I once never wanted to see nicasio again, but I did, and I have changed my mind. I would rather have nicasio then Peralta. If Alex wood is chosen over Frias, then perhaps the FO is thinking game 4 is wood, not kershaw. I would hope the Dodgers sweep and there is no game 4, but the contigency needs to be there. I know the mets claim game 4 starter is matz, but that could change if the Mets are down 2-1 by then.

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