LOS ANGELES -- For all the excitement over Yasiel Puig's major league debut Monday night, it's worth pointing out that he's not here to get better. It hasn't come to that yet. The Los Angeles Dodgers aren't in a youth movement, looking toward the future.
He's here to help the Dodgers win and, at least for one night, it certainly looked like he can.
Puig, backpedaling to catch a deep line drive, made a flat-footed throw from the warning track to Adrian Gonzalez on a fly to double up Chris Denorfia for the final out of the Dodgers' 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres Monday night.
Puig batted .313 at Double-A Chattanooga and he didn’t cool off after traveling 2,000 miles west on Sunday. In his first at-bat, he reached for an Eric Stults changeup and hit a soft line drive into center field for his first major league hit. The Padres obliged and third-base coach Tim Wallach tossed the ball into the Dodgers’ dugout so Puig could have his keepsake.
Puig was 2-for-4 and displayed some of his speed running the bases and arm strength from right field, though his impact on the outcome proved minimal until that final play.
The Dodgers offense continued to slump -- can you call it that after nearly five weeks? -- with solo home runs from Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke the only action against Stults. But the Dodgers got a strong effort from Stephen Fife making an emergency start for Chris Capuano who -- like so many other Dodgers before him this year -- was sent off for an MRI.
Capuano has been dealing with some tightness in his left forearm. The Dodgers put Carl Crawford -- one of two regulars hitting better than .300 -- on the 15-day disabled list before the game because of tightness in his left hamstring.
The Dodgers could add two impact offensive players in two days if Hanley Ramirez returns before Tuesday’s game. That seems like a distinct possibility after Ramirez played six innings of shortstop and went 1-for-3 with a double in his fourth rehab game for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Monday.