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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Yasiel Puig struggling in spring training should concern Dodgers

Yasiel Puig arm raiseUnless you’re a hardcore Dodgers or fantasy baseball nut, you probably haven’t quite realized how bad Yasiel Puig has been this spring for the Dodgers.

Puig, who developed into a star last year and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, is batting .122 this spring. He’s 5-for-41 with three doubles, one walk and 5 strikeouts. That .122/.136/.195 slash line has resulted in a lowly .331 OPS.

Of course this is a very small sample size, but it’s something the Dodgers should be concerned about.

Puig had a bad offseason that included a speeding arrest — his second of the year. He also put on about 26 pounds from the end of last season, which gave manager Don Mattingly some concern.

Was Puig not training and practicing enough over the offseason? We’ll have a better idea over the next few weeks whether Puig is in good shape or whether the rest of baseball has figured out some of his weaknesses as a batter.

The Dodgers have two games against the Diamondbacks coming up in Australian this weekend. They’ll also have some more spring training games upon returning to Arizona after their trip. Then their season begins for good on March 30.

Keep in mind that before his monster season last year, Puig crushed spring training pitching. He batted .517 with an .828 slugging percentage and was scorching when the Dodgers sent him down. If you compare the two springs, it’s just not a good sign entering the year.

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