Yasiel Puig Benched by Los Angeles Dodgers in 4-0 Win over Chicago Cubs

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2013

Yasiel Puig's antics have reached a boiling point with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.

The Dodgers' rookie sensation was pulled from Wednesday afternoon's game against the Chicago Cubs for what all reports indicate are disciplinary reasons. Puig was replaced by Skip Schumaker in the fifth inning, and the Dodgers ultimately won 4-0.    

Though there was some fear of an injury, that proved not to be the case. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported the official reason Puig was removed was "manager's discretion."

Following the game, Mattingly denied pulling Puig as a disciplinary move, instead saying that Schumaker offered the club a better chance at winning:

Mattingly: "It's not an action vs. Yasiel. At that pint in the game, I felt like Skip gave us a better chance to win today."

— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) August 28, 2013

The two men had a meeting after the game, which was also attended by general manger Ned Colletti, per Shelburne:

Mattingly said Colletti was in his meeting with Puig today

— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) August 28, 2013

There is no word on what exactly was said during the session—it was a lengthy postgame wait for both men to come out of the clubhouse—but Puig told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times he understood the reasoning:

Puig said Mattingly pulled him because he wasn't ready on defense for every pitch. Puig said he understood Mattingly's decision.

— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) August 28, 2013

Starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco indicated to ESPN Radio LA's Beto Duran after the game that the 22-year-old outfielder knows what he did. 

Nolasco added that veteran #Dodgers clubhouse will talk to Puig about todays actions but wouldnt elaborate "he knows what he did"

— Beto Duran (@DuranSports) August 28, 2013

Nolasco pitched eight scoreless innings Wednesday, and the Dodgers pulled to 23 games above .500 with the win over Chicago. Puig went 0-for-1 in two plate appearances against Cubs starter Edwin Jackson, drawing a walk in the first inning and striking out swinging in the third.

Following his walk, Puig failed to slide on a ground-ball double play from Carl Crawford, which may have cost Los Angeles a run. Hanley Ramirez hit a solo home run with the next at-bat. Shelburne also reported after the game that his lack of hustle out of the dugout was a contributing factor:

Puig's lack of hustle out to RF contributed to Mattingly's decision, Im told.

— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) August 28, 2013

Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register claimed there was a "final-straw aspect" to Puig's play that led to him being pulled midway through the game.

Puig, who burst onto the scene in June with one of the best first months in MLB history, has seen his fair share of controversy of late. Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero criticized Puig last month after the right fielder tried running him over at home plate.

Mattingly also had to fine his star for showing up late last Tuesday to Marlins Park. Puig is hitting .346 with 13 home runs and 30 RBI this season. 


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