Wednesday was quite the eventful day for Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig. Even before taking the field against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, the 22-year-old outfielder was honored with his first two major awards in Major League Baseball after being named the National League Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for June — the same month he debuted.
Puig was obviously very deserving of both. In 26 games, Puig led the majors with a .436 batting average while hitting seven home runs, knocking in 16 runs and stealing four bases. He also joined elite company by collecting 44 hits in his first calendar month at the big league level. Only Joe DiMaggio with 48 hits in May 1936 had more.
But it isn't just his ability to produce at the plate that has quickly made Yasiel Puig the most talked about player in baseball over the past 30 days. His boundless energy and aggressive style of play both in the field and on the bases have also wowed us, while at the same time making us cringe with the risks he's willing to take. We saw two more examples of that aggressive style once the Los Angeles Dodgers hit the field on Wednesday night, and unfortunately one of them forced Puig out of the game with a bruised left hip.
The injury occurred when Rockies rookie Nolan Arenado lifted a flyball to deep right field that pushed Puig all the way to the wall to attempt a leaping catch, which he impressively was able to pull off. However, the consequence of making the play was Puig's momentum carried him into the wall where he crashed violently into a padded post at the fence with his left leg and hip absorbing the blow.
Puig would go to the ground immediately after throwing the ball back to the infield and remained there for several moments before testing his left leg with stretches and jogging. He remained in the game initially and even took his next at-bat, which resulted in a sacrifice fly. However, when the Dodgers returned to the field in the sixth Puig, had been replaced in a double-switch and we later learned he suffered a bruised left hip on the collision.
Frankly, it could have been worse when you look at the force with which he hit the wall, and also the awkward way the wall is designed with the wood posts covered by padding. Thankfully, it's not. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports:
X-rays were negative and Puig was listed as day to day.
"He's fine," Manager Don Mattingly said, adding that he expected Puig to return to the lineup Thursday.
As for the wall itself. Well, as Mattingly might say, we'll have to check on that later.
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