Sunday, April 28, 2013

Yasiel Puig arrested in Tennessee, Corey Seager heating up in Midland

Yasiel Puig, possibly nearing the end of his 7-day disabled list stint in Chattanooga, has bigger issues to deal with right now.

Puig was arrested in Tennessee on Sunday after being charged with speeding and reckless driving. He was also driving without proof of insurance.

According to an article from the LA Times, Puig's hearing for the matter is May 14.

One of the main reasons -- other than just not having enough playing time the last couple years -- Puig was sent to Double-A after a great spring training was his maturity. The Dodgers were concerned with his attitude and maturity level at times. It seems their concerns were validated on Sunday.

Despite signing a 7-year, $42 million contract last year on the international market, the Dodgers made the right decision with Puig, and it shows even more at this moment.

Yes, 22-year-olds are going to do stupid things. But as a professional baseball player, one would hope a guy would be mindful enough to know the spotlight is on him -- more than any Dodger prospect in recent memory. Everything he does will be magnified and picked apart by just about everyone.

From the Times' article:
"'We're aware of it,' Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said. 'We take it seriously. We’ll be handling discipline internally.'"
On top of the initial penalty for speeding, reckless driving is a Class-B misdemeanor in Tennessee and carries a fine of not more than $500 and not more than six months in jail. Don't worry, Puig isn't going to jail (again) for this incident.

The arrest is disappointing, but it also isn't the end of the world. In an attempt to not minimize the seriousness of Puig's alleged actions, at least he wasn't driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. That would have made things even worse -- at least, for me.

This is a dumb kid mistake, but that excuse can't be used all the time. He needs to learn and grow from this incident.

Seager heating up

Corey Seager began the season 1-for-17. Since then, he's gone 20-for-57 (.351). The just-turned-19-year-old has a weird extra-base hit line: one double, two triples and three home runs.

He's still playing shortstop, which was expected. What wasn't expected was Jesmuel Valentin joining the Loons at the same time Seager was on the club. Because the Dodgers want Seager to play shortstop as long as possible, Valentin is either going to play sparingly or play a lot of second base.

I have no doubt Valentin can handle it, but his ultimate value lies at shortstop. If Valentin can be a productive player offensively at short, his value will increase exponentially. But it's early. We'll see what the Dodgers and the minor-league teams do with the two 2012 draftees.

Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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