After going 0-5 with three strikeouts in Saturday’s game with the Washington Nationals, manager Don Mattingly decided to sit Puig on the bench for Sunday’s finale. Some believe the decision was a day of rest for the outfielder but many believe Puig got benched as a result of his slumping play and Matt Kemp’s return, which turned out to be huge.
I have to lean with the latter opinion and assume that Puig’s recent troubles forced Mattingly to give him the day off. In the past thirteen games, Puig has struggled at the plate, collecting only 12 hits in that span for an average of .222. Even more recently, he has only hit .160 in the last six games and has no RBI. With these types of numbers and Kemp’s return, a day off was not a surprise.
After their sweep over the Nationals, the Dodgers jetted off to Canada for a brief, single-series stint of interleague play. The Blue Jays will play host to the Dodgers for three games starting today.
As Kemp’s ankle tweak brings more uncertainty to a merry-go-round outfield, Puig will almost undoubtedly get his chance to be back in the game. Even if Kemp does return for the series opener or possibly not until later in the series, Puig will likely benefit from the American League’s DH spot.
A game or two with nothing to concentrate on besides hitting might be exactly what Puig needs to jumpstart his bat. Hopefully he can get back to a more respectable pace and continue his impressive rookie season.
Isaac Comelli is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @IsaacComelli, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+. You can see all of his articles here.