With rare exceptions teams don’t comment on waiver-wire transactions in August, which belies how common they are. As I noted above, everyone goes on waivers in August.
The reason is fairly simple.
Yasiel Puig snaps his bat in frustration after striking out in a June game against the Texas Rangers. (Associated Press photo)
PITTSBURGH — Yasiel Puig has been tinkering with his swing quite a bit recently. Really, it would only be surprising if he didn’t. A .305/.386/.502 hitter coming into this season, Puig’s 2015 slash line currently sits at .247/.319/.422, not the numbers that tend to inspire swagger and 66 jerseys throughout the stands at Dodger Stadium.
About a month ago, Puig was seen on the field early with Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire, trying to incorporate his lower body into his swing more. Puig went 2-for-4 that night. He also had a good series coming out of the All-Star break in Washington, D.C. (four RBIs, two walks in 14 plate appearances).
Since then, he has only 8 hits in 50 at-bats. Four were home runs, which tends to obscure Puig’s lack of consistency, but the optics cannot. Check out the various batting stances Puig has employed here and here.
That accounts for the part of this we can see by looking closely. We can’t see the why, the genesis for all of these changes, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly addressed that at length before today’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates:
Carl Crawford’s first-inning single Thursday was his third hit since he returned from the disabled list July 21. (Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA — Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he’ll try to play Carl Crawford “at least once a series,” while giving either right fielder Yasiel Puig or left fielder Andre Ethier a day off.