Padres @ Dodgers June 3, 2013: PUIG.

dodger_stadium_2013_150x150There is a not-at-all small part of me that really considered naming this thread “Puigs @ Puigs, Puig 3, 201Puig,” with “Puig” listed in the lineups over there eighteen times like he was Bugs Bunny from the old cartoon. That should give you a small idea of the excitement that’s hanging over him tonight, to the point that they could replace “Dodgers” with “Puigs” on the front of the jersey and some fans would still find it slightly conservative.

Yet we must attend to business first, and there’s quite a bit of news. As expected, Stephen Fife has been recalled to take Chris Capuano‘s spot and start tonight. Carl Crawford heads to the disabled list thanks to his sore hamstring to make room for Fife. He is, sadly, expected to miss a few weeks, a length of time that increased from the expected “a few days” after his MRI came back. I know we’re all on a Puig high right now, but the loss of Crawford is enormous, and one that will be felt greatly for the remainder of the month. In better news, Hanley Ramirez is expected to return tomorrow, and so in all likelihood Fife is one-and-done no matter what he does tonight just like Matt Magill was yesterday; it appears Luis Cruz will survive yet again.

Padres
Dodgers
SS
Cabrera
RF
Puig
CF
Amarista
2B
Punto
3B
Headley
1B
Gonzalez
2B
Gyorko
C
Hernandez
LF
Denorfia
LF
Van Slyke
1B
Blanks
CF
Ethier
RF
Venable
3B
Hairston
C
Hundley
SS
Cruz
P
Stults
P
Fife

But we’re not done yet with injury news, because Scott Elbert has been shut down after his elbow “flared up” after back-to-back outings with Chattanooga. He’s headed to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache, and almost nothing good ever comes out of that, so don’t expect to see him for a while. We still haven’t heard exactly what is ailing Mark Ellis as well, because he is out of the lineup for a second day in a row against a lefty starter. But so far there’s been no news on that front other than Ken Gurnick’s report that Ellis is “hobbled” but “wouldn’t say what’s wrong,” and he was seen taking batting practice today. Also, it’s worth noting that prospectus Zach Lee was named the Southern League player of the week.

All set? Good, because, PUIG!… and Don Mattingly is wasting absolutely no time getting him in the mix, hitting him leadoff. He’s the first Dodger to make his major league debut in the leadoff spot since Jose Offerman in 1990; current first base coach Davey Lopes did it as well in 1972. (As others have pointed out, Dee Gordon hit at the top in his first start in 2011, but it was not his debut, since he’d entered as a pinch-runner the night before.)

That seems… well, aggressive to me, but then again, it’s not like there’s a clear leadoff replacement with Crawford out. (Even our pal Nick Punto is beginning to see the effects of his obvious BABIP regression, seeing his batting average drop from .340 to .303 in barely more than a week.) Perhaps it’s countered a bit by the fact that he’s in his more natural position of right field rather than center, so that should help his acclimation. Then again, that comes with the obvious downside of having to have Andre Ethier play center tonight — and there’s a decent argument to be made that an outfield of Scott Van Slyke / Ethier / Puig is the worst defensive combo in baseball today — though Mattingly did say Puig would see time in center as well. (Mattingly also had this gem, to ESPN’s Molly Knight: “Oh I’ve known he was coming up for days I was just bullsh–ing you guys.” Love that.)

Fortunately, we can focus entirely on just how it is that Puig is going to manage a grand slam in his first plate appearance despite hitting leadoff without having to worry so much about potential extra-curricular activities — enemy of the state Carlos Quentin is not starting for San Diego tonight. That should hopefully mean that Puig at least gets to play in a second game, rather than getting arrested after probably using his linebacker frame to knock Jedd Gyorko or Will Venable or whatever poor Padre happened to get in his way clear into the Pacific Ocean in the inevitable bench-clearing brawl.

Fri 10/11Sat 10/12Sun 10/13Mon 10/14Tues 10/15Wed 10/16Thurs 10/17
RR. Belisario9105
LJ.P. Howell152026
RK. Jansen51626
RC. Marmol26
RB. Wilson281411
RC. Withrow2544
RE. Volquez
1865 comments
plaza234 (Charter Member of Trade Kemp bandwagon)
plaza234 (Charter Member of Trade Kemp bandwagon)

Most exciting thing about Puig is that anytime a guy can miss over a year of baseball and pick up a bat and produce immediately, without knowledge of the pitchers or anything, it means he has a ton of natural ability who will only get better once he sees MLB pitching.  This kid is special.

Lobo
Lobo

If Puig lives up to his full potential, we might be seeing a new version of the Duke Snider, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays triumvirate of superstar outfielders

wilhud
wilhud

Puig broke my Twitter. I seriously can't read or post anything since the final out at 1B

P_F_P
P_F_P

"Denorfia safe at first? Looks that way to me" I know that Keith Law "hates everyone," but you know he loves to bait angry Dodger fans.

P_F_P
P_F_P

What I texted my dad (who was unable to watch tonight's game): "With Dodgers up one in top nine with one out, Puig catches fly ball on warning track then unleashes otherworldly throw to first in time to get the runner and end the game. Dodgers win two to one." Perfect summary, IMO.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

The TV dude beat all of you with Big League Puig!

Pizza Guy
Pizza Guy

And the Angels get swept!!! HAHA

Yoinkage
Yoinkage

lol Mattingly's press conference is hilarious. "Had you seen him throw like that in Spring Training?" "Oh yeah on the screen today they showed him throw someone out from... like... behind the wall... over in field 2. All the way to third."

Professor Towel
Professor Towel

Cruz running on that play was really awful. He's lucky we won this game.

o0b00tz0o
o0b00tz0o

wowowowow League still sucks.

BluESQ
BluESQ

The first base ump was cubano too no? ;)

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@BluESQ Home plate ump is the one who made the call.

BluESQ
BluESQ

Gotcha. For the record, I thought he was out barely, but I would've called him out no matter what. Puiiiiggggg!!!