Don Mattingly: Yasiel Puig’s injury recovery ‘miraculous,’ ‘legendary’
Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly arguably delved into serious hyperbole territory when he characterized Yasiel Puig’s rapid recovery recently from a hamstring injury as “miraculous” and “legendary.”
The Dodgers slugger reportedly is running at full speed during workouts at the team’s Arizona spring training facility after going down with the injury on Aug. 27. He was placed on the disabled list the following day. But Mattingly’s comments certainly indicate Puig is fully healed.
“Like three days ago, he was running at 80% and having pain,” Mattingly said, via The Los Angeles Times. “And then, all of a sudden, he’s going 100% and feels fine.”
Puig isn’t a lock to crack the Dodgers’ 25-man NLDS roster, and even if he did, it appears he would be used as a reserve or pinch-hitting option.
Still, Mattingly, despite how he may or may not be used in the postseason, obviously is blown away by Puig’s extraordinary recuperative powers.
“It’s been pretty miraculous, actually, for me,” Mattingly said.
Puig has endured an injury-plagued 2015 campaign. Between his latest stint on the DL and the five weeks he was out earlier this season due to a strain in his other hamstring, Puig has played in only 77 games, batting .256 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI.
Mattingly cites Puig’s inability to stay in the lineup as a problem.
“When you have injuries, you never, ever get into any kind of rhythm,” he said. “I don’t really feel like he’s ever gotten into any kind of rhythm this year, where he was just playing baseball.”
Puig did play four innings in an instructional league game Thursday and how he feels Friday may go a long way in the Dodgers’ ultimate determination on what the team will do with the polarizing-yet-dangerous slugger. But no matter which way things play out, Mattingly cannot help but be wowed by Puig’s recovery.
Comparing Puig’s comeback to how second baseman Howie Kendrick couldn’t quite get over the hump as he finished his recovery Mattingly gushed about Puig.
“I think that’s legendary.”