Yasiel Puig, Plate Disciplinarian

A Carl Crawford liner knocked St. Louis starter Shelby Miller out of the game after two pitches, a six-run second inning knocked around emergency reliever Jake Westbrook and the Dodgers more or less cruised thereafter to 25 baserunners (Crawford reached five times) in a 13-4 victory.

I rushed through that description so that I could get to what I wanted to talk about – the developing batting eye of Yasiel Puig.

After drawing skepticism and a bit of derision for his wild, swinging ways – seven walks in his first 42 games (against 43 strikeouts) – Puig has dramatically turned things around. With three walks tonight, Puig now has 12 walks in his past 13 games (against 14 strikeouts). That’s a 150-walk pace over a 162-game season.

Only one of the 12 walks has been intentional.

It’s not that Puig has been timid in the plate. Emerging for a slump that lowered his OPS to a season-worst .967 (yeah, season-worst) on July 22, Puig has gone exactly 20 for 50 with those 12 walks, two hit-by-pitches, four doubles and three home runs. That’s a .400 batting average, .531 on-base percentage, .660 slugging percentage and 1.191 OPS during that stretch.

Puig has drawn five walks in the four games that Hanley Ramirez has missed this week, but that alone doesn’t account for his improved showing. And it means that 240 plate appearances into his career, Puig still has an OPS well over 1.000.

His ups were followed by some downs, and his downs have now turned into some ups. The ride will continue, but it’s hard not to be excited by his ability to show power with restraint.

  • Anonymous

    I like the Dodgers chances of winning this game.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Start Streaking Again!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Lots of 2 out runs in this game.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Fed!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Back up catcher to pitch to Paco

  • Anonymous

    MLB, here we come!

  • Anonymous

    The lead is probably even Mármol-safe.

  • Anonymous

    Have a swing :)

  • Anonymous

    Some day (soon?) this would be a good intro spot for Brian Wilson.

    • Anonymous

      Can we carry 3 mediocre relievers?

      • Anonymous

        Probably swap out one of them for Wilson, wouldn’t you say?

        • Anonymous

          Hard choice?

      • Anonymous

        To Mármol, “mediocre” is an over-the-top compliment.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      It should be noted that not only has Wilson not shaved the beard, it seems to have grown a pony tail: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BRHWHyQCcAAumnW.jpg:large

      He’s headed to ABQ tomorrow.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    The Dodgers now have scored more runs tonight than they have scored for Clayton Kershaw in the past month.

    • Anonymous

      And that was without having Greinke batting in the 9 spot. Impressive.

  • Anonymous

    The first post tonight was this:

    btimmer

    • 6 hours ago

    Expect a long game tonight because neither pitcher will go much past the 5th and there will be a lot of pitching changes. It could even be a Carlos Marmol type of game.

    • Anonymous

      “You mean the kind where the Dodgers have a lead big enough to trust to a failed closer! woohoo.”

      Go ahead, Bob. Dare us to dis Carlos Marmol again.

      Expect a long game tonight because neither pitcher will go much past the 5th and there will be a lot of pitching changes. It could even be a Carlos Marmol type of game.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    After somehow surviving a collision with Puig last week, old friend Dioner Navarro was knocked out of the game tonight by Chase Utley.

    http://deadspin.com/dioner-navarro-carted-off-after-this-collision-holds-o-1061625956

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Ball Game Dodgers Win!!!!

    13 games over .500

    16-3 since ASB, 33-8 since 6/22

    Still 5 gms ahead of the Dbags,

    #4 seed, 6 gms back of the #1 seed

    Guaranteed a series tie…going for win tomorrow and 3 of 4

    13 straight series win or tie 9-0-4, Still Streaking!!!!

    http://i.imgur.com/AMbO5zV.jpg

  • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      How sad and strange.

  • Spence

    I think people just need to stop watching Puig so closely and just accept and enjoy the fact that he’s a great player. He can do it all. The Dodgers erred in not bringing him up sooner, but no need to cry over spilt milk or somehow be waiting for Puig to come back down to earth. This kid is the truth. He’s the Dodgers version of Mike Trout. It is good to see some more patience out of him. Hopefully that will force pitchers to throw more strikes to him and maybe he can hit some more homers.

    • Anonymous

      I think it made sense to start him at AA but, in retrospect, it’s great he got the opportunity when he did. He’s still raw in a lot of ways – does some maddening things – but you get a lot more good than bad with him.

  • Anonymous

    After that bases loaded, no runs beginning, I did not see the game turning out like this! Skip sure redeemed himself . . . great bounce-back win!

    • Spence

      I’d give CC the game ball tonight (if this were basketball). He had 4 hits and knocked out Shelby Miller. That was the game right there. Between Puig, Shelby Miller, and Jose Fernandez, its going to be a really difficult rookie of the year vote.

      • Anonymous

        no Ryu love?

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Pop the champagne: The Dodgers have locked up their 95th consecutive sub-100 loss season.

    • Anonymous

      I still recall 1992 and feeling relieved that they didn’t lose 100 games.

      • Anonymous

        It should be added that of course, Colorado wouldn’t end up last in the division until 1999. That concept was not in my thinking in 1992, however.

  • Spence

    I’m also really like Withrow as a long man out of the pen. He’s so much better than having to go with guys like Guerrier.

    • Anonymous

      Guerrier with a 0.973 WHIP with Cubs; 1.467 with Dodgers

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers1m
    The #Dodgers are 33-8 since June 21 — the clubs best 41-game stretch since 1953.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Rays come from behind now winning 8-7..Gnats losing now 4-1

    • Anonymous

      unfortunately now behind 9-8

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers3m
    #Dodgers score 6 runs in the 2nd to back @RNolasco47 in 13-4 win over Cardinals. http://atmlb.com/15daZVG pic.twitter.com/O5NuBWQk20

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    St. Louis Cardinals ‏@Cardinals1m
    RHP Carlos Martinez will be recalled from Memphis (AAA) to make start tomorrow in series finale vs. Dodgers.

    • Anonymous

      Almost 22-yo Martinez has had 3 starts at AA and 10 at AAA plus 10 games in short relief for the Cardinals this season; 7 of those ML appearances in May and 3 in July. He threw 5 innings at AAA in a start last Friday. His BA splits at AAA are 257 and 159 with LHH doing better as you would expect.

    • Spence

      At least its not Wacha. He’s their best starter down there and probably should be in their rotation right now.

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    This is similar to Winnipeg Dave’s bird story down below: on July 29 in the Emmen Zoo in The Netherlands 112 baboons suddenly began looking rather sad. Nobody knows why, and it took a week for them to snap out of it.

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps they are Dodger fans and only had pre-June 22 news reports, then suddenly learned of the last 40 games.

  • Anonymous

    Joo can’t walk of the island, mang.

  • thescrounger

    MSTI published a link to Tony Jackson’s new Dodger Blog, http://dodgerscribe.com. I enjoyed reading his work and will be checking him out. http://dodgerscribe.com

  • Anonymous

    Zach Lee, Chris Withrow and Chris Reed for Luke Hochevar and Howie Kendrick? It may have been…

    http://www.mikesciosciastragicillness.com/2013/08/08/gammons-dodgers-were-close-on-luke-hochevar/

  • Anonymous

    Great post, Jon!

    Puig definitely seems to be adjusting better and better to being pitched around.

    Puig’s patience can really be a big boost to the offense. Take last night, for example:

    Puig draws a walk in the 2nd, and ends up advancing to 2nd base on an Ethier line up to the pitcher and scores on a Schumaker single.

    In the 9th, Puig walks and scores on a double by Ethier.

    Puig can create so many issues on the base paths with his speed and also creates opportunities for guys behind him to drive him in.

    I hope he continues his progression because if he does, he can be a real offensive and defensive force for the Dodgers.

  • Anonymous

    How times have changed. Last year’s headline might have read Juan Uribe: Plate Disciplinarian. Back to the plate in hand, Uribear BBs hit a high of 11 in March/April, but big trend downward. With 23 for the year, however, he still has a chance to reach his career high of 45.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • Miguel Salcido

    Hi John, I wonder how much Puig’s walk rate has been affected by the fact that he’s now been hitting cleanup? I realize this has only been for a few games, but he has also not been leading off and I think that the turn around in walks started when we moved him from the leadoff spot.

    • Anonymous

      He hasn’t batted lead off since June 14th.

  • Anonymous

    Stated another way, Puig has 19 walks in 215 PA.
    In 2012, Dee Gordon had 20 walks in 330 PA.
    Puig of course gets more respect from pitchers than Gordon because he’s a power hitter. But he’s already learning to lay off the high and inside pitch a lot faster than Kemp learned to lay off sliders low and away. Kemp had 16 walks in 311 PA in his first full season.

    All three players still have a K/BB rate of 3-1. Adrian Gonzalez’s rate is 1.68.