Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and right fielder Yasiel Puig high five after Game 4 of the National League Division Series in October. (Getty Images)
In an interview today with St. Louis sports broadcaster Frank Cusumano, retired baseball player and coach Andy Van Slyke shared a revealing anecdote about Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.
What made it particularly revealing: It came from inside the Dodgers’ clubhouse.
“When the best player, highest-paid player on the Los Angeles Dodgers goes to the GM and … is asked what is the number-one need … of the Los Angeles Dodgers club, this particular highest-paid player said, ‘the first thing you need to do is get rid of Puig’,” Van Slyke said.
When Cusumano noted that pitcher Clayton Kershaw is the Dodgers’ highest-paid player, Van Slyke replied, “I didn’t say his name.”
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was put through the wringer on a multitude of subjects, including Yasiel Puig’s return, Scott Van Slyke’s injury, Jose Peraza’s injury, Zack Greinke’s ERA title chase and Clayton Kershaw’s quest for 300 strikeouts.
The Dodgers might get Yasiel Puig back this weekend, though manager Don Mattingly wouldn’t say in what capacity.
The suddenly, stunningly logical conclusion is that he will be in uniform and able to play at some point against the San Diego Padres. Puig hasn’t played since he strained his right hamstring on Aug. 27, but has been running at 100 percent this week and playing in instructional league games in Glendale, Arizona.
“He’s been able to run the last two days,” Mattingly said. “Played the field two days in a row.”
Friday, Mattingly said that Puig walked, singled, played a ground ball in right field and threw it back to the infield. Most significantly, Puig tried to steal a base three times. The first two times, the batter fouled off the pitch. On his third attempt, Puig was successful.
Asked if there are any steps remaining in Puig’s rehab, Mattingly said “it doesn’t seem like it.”
Howie Kendrick slides in safely under the tag of Giants catcher Trevor Brown in the third inning of the Dodgers’ 3-2 win Thursday. (Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO — Brett Anderson collected two more bonus checks Thursday, made a strong final case to start Game 3 of the National League Division Series, and drew the Dodgers one game closer to home-field advantage to begin the series by beating the Giants. The box score is here.