Tuesday, June 25, 2013
The case for Yasiel Puig as an All-Star
By Mark Saxon
LOS ANGELES -- Bruce Bochy said he's leaning against considering Yasiel Puig as a reserve for next month's All-Star Game, but acknowledged things might change in the next couple of weeks.
"Since I'm getting so many questions about it, MLB could come up with a new rule that the most intriguing or exciting player should be on the team," Bochy said. "Let's make that another spot."
If Puig plays in every one of the Dodgers' games between now and the All-Star break, he will have played 39 games, well under half the team's total. If Bochy picks him, there could be some negative sentiment among players, particularly those who have produced consistently for more than three months.
There is, however, the sheer entertainment value to consider. ESPN changed its broadcast plans for Monday to get Puig on national TV and he rewarded that decision by homering and later driving in the go-ahead run. He also dropped a fly ball against the wall for what was initially ruled a two-base error, and then changed.
Puig certainly looks like a guy who could help the National League secure home-field advantage for the World Series, batting .442 with seven home runs in 20 games. Not that the Dodgers or Giants look particularly World Series-bound at the moment, but you never know.
Plenty of undeserving big names have been voted onto the team by fans, even some who spent a big chunk of the first half on the disabled list. So, why shouldn't a player who is deserving -- and who had no sway over where he began this season -- make it?
"The more and more that he does, I'm sure they'll talk about it," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "At this pace, he's putting up some pretty good numbers."
Even if Bochy doesn't choose Puig, he could still make it to Citi Field in New York. Each team has 34 players nowadays, one of which is voted in by fans in a final run-off. There also are injury defections every year.
Here are lineups for Tuesday’s game:
1. Gregor Blanco CF
2. Marco Scutaro 2B
3. Buster Posey C
4. Pablo Sandoval 3B
5. Hunter Pence RF
6. Brandon Belt 1B
7. Andres Torres LF
8. Brandon Crawford SS
9. Mike Kickham LHP
1. Mark Ellis 2B
2. Yasiel Puig LF
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Hanley Ramirez SS
5. Matt Kemp CF
6. Andre Ethier RF
7. Tim Federowicz C
8. Nick Punto 3B
9. Stephen Fife RHP