Mar 19, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Yasiel Puig (66) rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers Return Home To Begin PuigMania


Dodgers Lineup vs. San Diego

Puig 9
Punto 4
Gonzalez 3
Hernandez 2
Van Slyke 7
Ethier 8
Hairston 5
Cruz 6
Fife 1

Stephen Fife-0-0 vs. Eric Stults-4-4

*Puig leads off and plays in right field with Ethier in center. This is an atrocious lineup even with Puig in it. The Dodgers have placed Crawford on the DL, and Fife will be starting.* Puig becomes the first Dodger rookie to bat lead-off in his first game since Jose Offerman. Make note, Puig will be nothing like Offerman.*

And on June 3rd, Yasiel Puig arrived. Baseballs would rain down from the heavens and Puig will go on to win the triple crown, and move buildings, and stop hunger. By that time the Dodgers have already gone on to win the division, and World Series. And all was well with the world. The End.

Ok that’s not how things are going to go. Obviously we all need to balance our expectations with reality. Tonight is going to be bedlam at Dodger Stadium, and in the press box. I am somewhat glad I’ll be covering from the comfort of my living room. (Ok, I’m not really covering, Stacie is tonight, I’ll actually be kicking back at home with a cold one.) The Dodgers return home to begin a ten game homestand, and begin with a three game series against the Padres.

The Dodgers will have yasiel Puig in the lineup, and while I am excited to see what he can do, I’m not jumping up and down for joy. I would be much more excited if the Dodgers were you know, good this year. A million Yasiel Puig’s don’t mask the Dodger’s terrible record and last place foothold. The Dodgers are 23-32, and 6-18 versus the NL West. The Dodgers are 8.5 games back of first place, and 3.5 games behind San Diego for fourth place.

Will Cappy be pitching tonight?-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

 

Or will Fife be pitching tonight?-Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The truth is, this seems kind of gimmicky to me. Puig can’t mask the Dodger’s MLB worst defense, or the terrible relief pitching, or inept management. What he will do is breathe some life into a punch-less lineup. Something the Dodgers sorely need. Of course everyone is tweeting out Puig’s every move. One thing we are forgetting about lost in all of the Puig hype, is that we might be seeing Carlos Quentin tonight for the first time since the brawl. Will there be an incident tonight? I dont know, but Hairston said something about there being some kind of retaliation eventually.

Also there has to be a roster move with the addition of Puig, so who will get the axe? Or will someone land on the DL like Crawford and or Capuano? I expect more Bum Shuffling and more roster maneuvering. This is why the Dodgers suck and are in last place.

I almost forgot to mention that the Dodgers have another new injury. Sound the bells. Tonight’s scheduled starting pitcher Chris Capuano has cramps in his triceps, and is more than likely unable to make the start tonight. If he is unable to go Stephen Fife, who is fresh off of the DL from shoulder bursitis will make a spot start in his place. The Dodgers have yet to officially announce this, but it looks likely that Fife gets the start. I see no point in trying to run Capuano out there again when he is not 100%. Cappy has only pitched 33 innings this season, and is 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA. if Capuano is starting tonight he is 5-5 with a 3.88 ERA in 15 games and 57 whiffs in 72 innings pitched against San Diego.

Fife has only pitched in one game for the Dodgers this year. Back on April 21, Fife pitched 4.2 innings against Baltimore, and was not involved in the decision. In that game he allowed four runs on seven hits and whiffed five. Fife has never faced the Padres in his career.

San Diego will counter with old friend and former Dodger Eric Stults. Our old friend is 1-1 against the Dodgers in 2013, and 1-1 in his career, but is 6-5 with a 3.93 ERA at Dodger Stadium. Back on April 10, Stults pitched five frames against the Dodgers allowing four runs on eight hits in a 4-3 Dodger win. But on April 15 at Dodger Stadium, he picked up the win going six innings and giving up three runs on nine hits, and whiffing four. The Padres won that game 6-3. Stults is coming off one of his best starts of the season against the Mariners in which he whiffed a career high 12 and allowed just one run on three hits r eight frames. The Dodgers are hitting .321 (17 for 53) with two home runs against Stults. Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier have hit the two home runs. Stults is 4-4 with a 3.86 ERA and 50 whiffs in 11 starts.

Not Stults again!-Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Dodgers are better off just starting Fife. We have all seen what happens when trying to run Capuano out there when he is injured, and he’ll just get lit up like a Christmas tree. They may as well start Fife. Not like they are going to win anyways.

But with Puig in the lineup maybe they have a shot, I don’t know. All I know is I am sick of the losing, and excited to see Puig play. Our expectations shouldn’t be too high. I have been hearing a lot of talk about comparisons to Mike Trout. You can compare him to anyone you want, but let’s keep in mind, he is only 22 years old and has never played on a professional level. He may struggle at times. But the thing to remember whether Puig struggles or starts mashing, that the Dodgers still suck in 2013, and this season has been a failure, with management deserves to be ripped for this failure of a season. This seems like a move more out of desperation than anything. We all know the area that really needs an upgrade, and it’s management.

Anyhow, the game is on at 7:10 PM, and televised on Prime Ticket. Stick around here after the game for our postgame recap. Special Puig edition. Go Blue, and Go Puig!

Tags: Adrian Gonzalez Andre Ethier Chris Capuano Don Mattingly Featured Juan Uribe Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp Nick Punto Popular Stephen Fife Tim Federowicz Yasiel Puig