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N. L. West: Dodgers Ascent Continues With Puig

dodgerspuig-wrThere seems to be a lot of buzz, some positive, some not so much, about Cuban rookie sensation Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Many wanted the young phenom to be named to the All-Star team for this coming week’s Mid-Summer classic. Others complained he has not been in the Major Leagues long enough to warrant such an honor. An argument could be made both ways. Obviously we can’t name a player to the All State game who comes up for one game and goes 4-4 just because he is batting 1.000. So there is a minimum, but the thing is, there is no definitive minimum number of games or at-bats to qualify.

Puig has been around long enough to make an impact on the National League West race, there is no disputing that. He has been in the Dodgers lineup for 36 games and is batting .397. He has hit eight homers and driven in 19 runs with a slugging percentage of .630. In the last 36 games, the Dodgers are 23-23 and have moved from dead last to within 1.5 games of first place.

There was a campaign, largely run by ESPN to get Puig the last spot on the All-Star team. That spot ended up going to the Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman. Freeman has played all season for the Braves and is hitting .313 with 60 RBIs. The argument can be made for both. Puig is on his way to a Rookie of the Year and possibly even an MVP. But 36 games is a small sampling. Freeman has been around for the whole season and is on his way to a 100 RBI season.

Perhaps, MLB needs to come up with a minimum number of games or at-bats or days a player has to be up with the big league club before he is eligible to participate in the All-Star game. It would avoid the controversy of this season. But, if Puig turns out to be this good, we will get plenty of looks at him in future All-Star Games. And if he’s just on a hot streak, then perhaps Freeman was the more deserving.

The Dodgers are red hot. They have won five in a row and 16 of their last 19 games. They have gotten over the .500 mark at 46-45 and are only 1.5 games out of first place. They perhaps should look at the San Diego Padres though who were on a similar run a couple of weeks ago. The Padres were once 39-38 and are now 41-52.  But Puig has so far turned their season around. There is no disputing that.

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