Teammates deliver message to Puig
A number of Dodgers veterans spoke with rookie Yasiel Puig this week, explaining that he needs to cut down on his mistakes.
Dodgers utility man Jerry Hairston said players essentially told Puig, “Hey, that’s enough,” pointing out that such mistakes could prove decisive in important games down the stretch or in the playoffs.
Puig has made a number of baserunning mistakes, has frequently missed cutoff men with his throws and showed up late for a game last week.
“A lot of things are happening to him,” Hairston said. “He’s a superstar at 22. He’s in a new country, a new culture. We are sensitive to that.
“But if you're going to be a great player, you’ve got to do the little things. That’s how you win. That’s the key.”
Hairston said Puig was receptive and showed notable improvement in the team’s recent series in Miami.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, meeting with the FOX broadcasters before the game, said it has been "a little bit of a struggle" to get Puig to concentrate on the fundamental aspects of his game.
Mattingly added, "But it has never been bad. He's such a good kid. Anyone portraying him as bad, that would be wrong.
"He's an energetic young player with such passion. Sometimes he goes out if control. But it's never malicious. It's never, 'I'm missing the cutoff man because I want to.'
"I don't want to break this kid's spirit. I like him playing the way he plays. But like with anybody else, I just want him to play intelligently."