The Los Angeles Dodgers have received a huge boost in excitement from Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig. Unfortunately, this will not lead to much more team success.
Puig has played eight outstanding games for the Dodgers. To this point, he has more three-hit games (three) than games with one or fewer hits (two). Overall, he is batting .500 (16-of-32) with four home runs and 10 RBI.
Additionally, his defense is also outstanding with one of the strongest arms you will see from an outfielder in a long time. Arash Markazi of ESPN explained that the veterans covering the game were surprised:
The Dodgers' scorekeeper is still shaking his head at Puig's throws. No one in the press box has seen anything like it.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) June 9, 2013
He also showed in the minor leagues that he is capable of stealing bases, although he has not gotten to that point in the majors yet.
The phenom is bringing a ridiculous amount of energy and excitement to the fanbase and supporters of the team from all over.
ESPN's Darren Rovell discussed how much an autograph from the young player would be worth:
Yasiel Puig's 1st autograph prices will be between $149 and $299 depending on what he signs (H/T @SportsCollector)— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) June 11, 2013
According to Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaiken of the Los Angeles Times, the team sold 3,000 units of merchandise related to the outfielder in the first four days they were on sale, which is a new franchise record.
It is obvious that the Dodgers are raking it in as an organization and should be extremely happy that Puig is part of the team. Unfortunately, none of this guarantees wins on the field.
Los Angeles had high hopes entering the season with one of the biggest payrolls in baseball. Unfortunately, almost everyone on the team is either hurt or playing extremely poorly.
Will the Dodgers make the playoffs?
The team has already gone through nine starting pitchers this season. Outside of Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the squad has not found any reliability in the rotation. However, the lineup has been even worse.
With the exception of Adrian Gonzalez, the hitters on the roster have been very disappointing. Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier have each won a Silver Slugger in their career but have combined for only six home runs this season. Kemp is barely topping a .250 batting average, which is miles better than Either at .229.
All of this—combined with a major league high of 15 losses from relievers—has led to a terrible start from the Dodgers. The squad is 27-36 to sit in last place in the National League West.
While the first thought is that Puig and is great play will turn the squad around, that has not been the case. The team has lost the last three games despite the outfielder going 8-for-13 in that stretch.
One player is not enough to win games in baseball. Last season, Mike Trout put together one of the best rookie years in history and almost won MVP. However, the Los Angeles Angels were still unable to reach the playoffs.
The Dodgers have been terrible so far this season and the majority of the roster has not improved since Puig's debut. It takes an entire squad to turn things around, and it does not appear that this team is capable of doing it.
According to ESPN.com, Los Angeles only has a 2.7 percent chance of making the playoffs. Although this does not completely eliminate the squad, it will need a lot more than just the amazing play of Puig to get back into the postseason picture.
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