Sportress of Blogitude

Yasiel Puig says he broke out of slump by playing baseball video games


Yasiel Puig, mired in a slump, somewhat broke out of his hitting funk in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 10-7 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.

The young slugger, batting only .195 in July, was having an especially rough go of it over the past week, notching only three hits in his latest 19 at-bats for a paltry .158 average … although it’s worth noting after Wednesday’s performance, two of Puig’s three hits were homers.

When asked after the game if he was doing something different to help get himself out of his month-long batting woes, Puig didn’t mention any new approaches at the plate, extra batting practice or anything of that sort. Instead, he indicated he suspects it has something to do with changing up his video game-playing rotation.

“I just stopped playing soccer video games,” he said via a translator, according to a report from The Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. “I’ve found, when I play baseball video games, I do better.”

It’s surprising it took Puig this long to realize that playing some simulated baseball on his PS4 or Xbox or whatever may help him turn things around, especially given how amped he gets when playing the virtual version of himself in video games.

Puig, whose name has come up in trade speculation, denied the rumors were having any impact on his play, saying it’s “not a distraction for me, justifying his insistence by pointing out, “I don’t even read in English.”

Along with switching-up his video game habits, Puig also mentioned that the presence of his mother at the game — who threw him the ceremonial first pitch before the game — not to mention the fact that the Dodgers gave out Puig bobbleheads at the game may have played a role in getting back in the swing of things, albeit for one night.

“I’m going to ask the Dodgers to see if they can have some more bobblehead nights,” he said, “and have my mom throw out the first pitch as much as possible.”

[H/T Big League Stew]