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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Mattingly says Puig may take on leadoff role

Yasiel Puig could be the Dodgers’ leadoff hitter this year, manager Don Mattingly indicated this weekend.

Mattingly said by switching Puig and last year’s leadoff hitter, lefty-swinging Carl Crawford, in the order, it would provide better righty-lefty balance, with right-handed hitter Hanley Ramirez batting third and left-handed hitter Adrian Gonzalez batting fourth.

But it also would be a nod to the reality that the 23-year-old Puig is more dynamic offensively than the 32-year-old Crawford, whose baserunning was hampered by hamstring problems throughout the 2013 season.

...Puig, however, still has a lot to learn about base stealing. Although he finished second on the club to Crawford with 11 steals, he was caught a team-high eight times.

But for Mattingly, it’s hard to ignore Puig’s .391 on-base percentage, second on the club only to Ramirez’s .402.

Puig also was more balanced in production against right-handed (.312) and left-handed pitching (.340) than Crawford, who hit 102 points lower against lefties (.206) than righties (.308). But Puig will also need to show he can make adjustments, as he batted only .214 in September.

Thanks to Eric.

Repoz Posted: February 04, 2014 at 06:50 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. Moeball Posted: February 04, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4651314)
Puig had a .391 OBA last season but he clearly went through a learning curve process. Early in the year he was hitting a ton, being very aggressive, not taking many walks at all. Then he hit his first major slump as pitchers adjusted, but then it looked like he was consciously trying to adapt as his average went down and up and down, but his walk rate increased the last couple of months.

Not much of a sample data base to go on to see whether this will work out or not. Should be interesting.
   2. GregD Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4651333)
The key move would be to get Crawford out of the top of the lineup altogether, right? Next to that, batting Puig 2nd or 1st is going to have a minimal impact.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4651341)
The key move would be to get Crawford out of the top of the lineup altogether, right?


Well, he's not the player he used to be, but a 108 OPS+ isn't the worst thing in the world.
   4. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4651350)
Crawford is the fourth outfielder, though if last year is any indication, it's a rare time when one of the four outfielders will need to get benched. They were all simultaneously healthy for what, like three games last year?
   5. Rants Mulliniks Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4651362)
I think Puig is going to have a crazy year. Not that it means anything, but a batting title wouldn't surprise me a bit. I coudl see him going .345/.425./.580.
   6. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4651425)
He's going to have a hard time driving in runs from there. Though he probably shouldn't be driving anything at this point.
   7. Dale Sams Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4651436)
Crawford is the fourth outfielder, though if last year is any indication, it's a rare time when one of the four outfielders will need to get benched. They were all simultaneously healthy for what, like three games last year?


"Four more years! Four more years!"
   8. Koot Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4651448)
The key move would be to get Crawford out of the top of the lineup altogether, right?


Boston tried that a couple times. I think he's still complaining about it.
   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4651457)
I thank God every day that Carl Crawford is not on the Red Sox. Of course, it is the Red Sox fault that he was ever on the Red Sox, so I should not praise them too highly...

Obviously, Puig is a major talent, and had an historic beginning to his career. That said, I hope people aren't expecting too much from in him in 2014.

From when he came up through July 3rd, he hit .440/.466/.743, with 3 unintentional walks, 23 Ks in 109 ABs.
From the 4th of July to the end of the season, he hit .271/.364/.451, 27 unintentional walks, 74 Ks in 273 ABs - that's still a very good player, particularly for a 22-year-old just breaking into the bigs.

The BB/K ratio and BB/PA ratio improved as the season went on, which is very encouraging, but if he hits .285/.365/.465 or something, as a 23-yr-old, that's still a very exciting young player.
   10. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4651523)
The key move would be to get Crawford out of the top of the lineup altogether, right?

Puig, Ramirez, Gonzalez, Kemp, Ellis, Crawford, Uribe, Guerrero, Kershaw?
   11. Rants Mulliniks Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4651531)
#9 - I don't expect him to hit .345, but its certainly possible. If I had to bet on his line, I'd put it at .300/.350/.480.
   12. Dale Sams Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4651544)
I thank God every day that Carl Crawford is not on the Red Sox


Even if he was a saint in the locker room, now that he's become injury-prone (as opposed to 'slow to heal')...yeah, what a nightmare.

So..if Crawford had become the Angel's headache...do the Angels still get Pujols? And if not, where does he go?
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4651569)

So..if Crawford had become the Angel's headache...do the Angels still get Pujols? And if not, where does he go?


Weren't the Marlins hot and heavy in that race? My recollection is he was one of the guys they chased that year.
   14. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4651576)
Weren't the Marlins hot and heavy in that race? My recollection is he was one of the guys they chased that year.


Which means he could be anywhere right now.
   15. God Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4651644)

Crawford is the fourth outfielder, though if last year is any indication, it's a rare time when one of the four outfielders will need to get benched. They were all simultaneously healthy for what, like three games last year?


It was actually zero games, which makes the point even stronger. It's been kind of bewildering, actually, listening to all these idiots on TV bloviating about how the Dodgers NEED to get rid of one of their four outfielders -- as if injuries didn't exist in baseball.
   16. toratoratora Posted: February 04, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4651667)
Weren't the Marlins hot and heavy in that race? My recollection is he was one of the guys they chased that year.


"Talk about a pair that deserve each other." Says the still bitter Red Sox fan.

A few days back I was playing around on BBR, looking at some MMP stuff and for the first time since the 2011 season ended, I took a peek in at that years Sox stats (I was that traumatized that its taken a WS and 2.5 years to do so). Looking over the offense going down the page I was like, This is a good team. WTH happened."*
Then I ran across Crawford's name and reflexively began cursing so profanely my GF peered in to see if I was OK.

Far and away my Least Favorite Sox of the last decade or so.

* Of course it was really the pitching that year. But damn,Crawford killed them.
   17. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 04, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4651745)
[15] There was the game that Kemp came back against Washington and they had all four available until Kemp busted his ankle in that game. In fact, all four outfielders played that game.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WAS/WAS201307210.shtml
   18. Dale Sams Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4651845)
You want to get more value out of Puig? Make him get his fat ass out of the box quicker, and tell him to stop admiring his line-drives.
   19. Davo Dozier Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:28 AM (#4651847)
And stop skateboarding on my sidewalk!
   20. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:56 AM (#4651850)
[18] I'd say even more is to pay attention to what's going on once he's on base. A -2 Rbaser for a guy with his speed is pretty bad, and I'm surprised it was even that good.
   21. God Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4651852)
[17] While I guess that's technically true, I tend to count any game where one of the principals is wearing a walking boot by the ninth inning as a "not healthy" game.
   22. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:18 AM (#4651853)
Puig is the most dynamic Dodger in my 25-plus years of my fandom. Warts and all, I'm very happy and grateful that he's here.
   23. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:20 AM (#4651854)
Far and away my Least Favorite Sox of the last decade or so.


Even more than the slack-jawed, mouth breather?

Didn't think that was possible ...
   24. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4651855)
Even more than the slack-jawed, mouth breather?

Didn't think that was possible ...


Lackey at least came back in 2013 and pitched well, including in the World Series-clinching game. And the Sox have him for $500K if they wish in 2015. It's all good in Red Sox Nation with John Lachey.

Crawford, though? Awful. Terrible.
   25. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:25 AM (#4651874)
If John Lackey still has two arms at the end of 2014, the Red Sox will have him through at least 2016 with an annual price tag of at least seven figures.
   26. toratoratora Posted: February 05, 2014 at 08:46 AM (#4651886)
At least Ol Horseface tries.

Crawford may have, but by seasons end, you could have fooled me.

Hated the signing when it happened, hated it during 2011, hate it now. Thank God for the Dodgers

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