Puig Shines in Nightcap
I didn't attend the Dodgers' split squad contest with the Padres, preferring to stay at Camelback and watch minor leaguers. After those games concluded, I headed over to the big stadium for the late game. Looking at the lineup, the only player that interested me was Puig. And his performance was interesting, to say the least.
His first at bat started with a foul ball, as he was late on a fastball and lined it toward the Royals dugout. The next fastball he saw was hammered over the wall in right-center field, more than 400 feet away.
In his next at bat, he hit the ball hard, again. In fact, he hit it so hard, the Royals' right fielder Jeff Francoeur tried to throw him out at first. Puig beat the throw. To satiate his pride, Yasiel proceeded to steal second.
In his third and final at bat, he stroked another line drive, this time into center field. A popup down the first baseline landed fair, though Puig had taken no lead. Even with Francoeur's great arm, Puig slid into second safely. Then, something crazy happened. The next batter popped a ball into shallow left center. This time, Puig took a lead and took off as soon as he saw the ball drop. When the ball was bobbled and lightly lobbed to the infield, Puig raced home and scored.
If that wasn't enough, he raced to the alley on a line drive from Willy Taveras, cut it off, and rocketed the ball back to the infield to keep the notoriously speedy outfielder to a single. All five tools on display today. It's hard not to get excited.
Bizarre on the Backfields
Omar Luna was an NRI, reassigned to minor league camp, now an infielder with the Triple A squad. Today, he was part of two very unique plays.
The first was a good defensive play with a twist. An Indians minor leaguer hit a ball pretty well just to the right of second base. Luna showed off his range and got to the ball. He made the throw to first. The runner was out. But why was the runner out? Because the runner assumed the ball was going thru the infield and took a wide route to first, planning on rounding the bag rather than running straight thru it. Many a-snicker could be heard from Dodger minor leaguers who were watching the game.
The other play was predictable, in the sense that there are signs advertising it around the field. The signs read "Watch for Flying Balls and Bats." Luna, leading off the inning after he made that brilliant play (which always seems to happen) took a mighty swing at a pitch. And it went far. Not the ball, his bat. He must have thrown it well over 100 feet. Pretty impressive if you ask me.
Check back tomorrow for more notes.