By Jon Weisman
Yasiel Puig will be back in the Majors for the Dodgers’ September stretch run, joined by catcher-infielder Austin Barnes and pitchers Louis Coleman, Josh Fields and Josh Ravin.
Since he was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on August 2, Puig played in 24 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City, with a .422 on-base percentage, .605 slugging percentage, five homers and nine walks against 11 strikeouts.
“For us, Yasiel’s done everything that was asked of him,” Dave Roberts said today in an interview with MLB Network about Puig, who will start tonight. “As we talked through things, we felt ultimately that he makes us better, with him keeping his end of the deal. It’s all about Yasiel becoming a better person, a better teammate, but also helping the Dodgers with baseball games.”
Yasiel Puig on his return: "It feels a little strange, but I'm glad to be given the opportunity." pic.twitter.com/sCzX3l0054
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) September 2, 2016
Said Puig to reporters this afternoon: “I earned the demotion to Triple-A. I feel that I’m now a better person, and I’m here to show it.”
Puig has a .320 on-base percentage, .386 slugging percentage and .706 OPS this season for the Dodgers. Between his return from the disabled list and his trip to the minors, he had a .390 OBP while slugging .440.
He joins a Dodger outfield that has Howie Kendrick, Joc Pederson, Josh Reddick, Andrew Toles, Kiké Hernandez and (though mainly an infielder) Rob Segedin.
Andre Ethier, who has played three nights in a row in rehab games with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga (including seven innings in right field Thursday), might not be far behind.
The 26-year-old Barnes wraps up his second season in Oklahoma City with a .380 on-base percentage, .443 slugging percentage and 18 stolen bases in 21 attempts, along with 43 walks against 53 strikeouts. In brief action with the Dodger this year, Barnes is 3 for 23 with three walks and a double.
Coleman pitched four shutout innings in rehab outings from August 22-30, allowing five hits while walking none and striking out six. With the Dodgers, he has a 3.70 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with 37 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings. He had made six straight scoreless appearances before going on the disabled list August 3 with right shoulder fatigue.
Fields has pitched two innings for Oklahoma City since he was optioned August 23. He had allowed five earned runs and 18 baserunners in 9 2/3 innings as a Dodger since his August 1 acquisition from Houston.
Placed on the disabled list August 15 with right triceps inflammation, Ravin pitched in one rehab inning August 30 for Rancho Cucamonga, allowing a hit and a run with a strikeout. He has two shutout innings with the Dodgers this year.
Luis Avilan, a winning pitcher Wednesday thanks to Toles’ grand-slam heroics, was only temporarily on the team as the 26th man for the second game of the doubleheader, and officially returned to Triple-A today. Because he was optioned August 25, he isn’t eligible for a permanent recall until Sunday.
So as they start September, the Dodgers have 15 pitchers and 15 position players on their active roster — with more to come.