For all the talk about Yasiel Puig in the NL divisional series, the National League Championship Series has seen Puig struggle enormously.
Through two games, Puig is 0-for-10 with six strikeouts, including strikeouts in all four plate appearances in Game 2.
But the Dodgers deserve to take some of the blame for his struggles. Having him bat in the middle of the order isn't the best spot for Puig, as he's better suited for the top of the lineup.
Here are his numbers based on the spots he batted in:
|Spot in the Order
The numbers are obviously higher with Puig batting in one of the top two spots because he has more at-bats. And while his average is higher in the middle of the order, he's not able to put up the same power numbers.
The fact remains that Puig is more valuable as a player getting on base at the top of the order than driving in runners. He puts pressure on the defense with his speed on the basepaths and the fact that he's always looking to take the extra base.
When he can hit at the top of the order, Puig's focus can be getting on base and letting others behind him drive him in. When Puig bats leadoff with Carl Crawford behind him, the Dodgers were 9-5 in the regular season. When Crawford led off and Puig hit second, the Dodgers were 20-8.
Puig may have been 8-for-17 in the NLDS, but he's clearly not succeeding in the NLCS. It's time for Don Mattingly to move him up in the order, where the Dodgers can take advantage of his skills.