After jacking a huge home run against the Twins last night, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig returned to the dugout to give his hitting coach, Turner Ward, a big ol’ kiss. The homer was Puig’s 19th of the season, which matches his single-season career high.
Puig’s been having a better season than he had last year, which isn’t saying much. We can all agree that 2016 Puig was a disaster, and an alarming warning that the once-prodigious outfielder might just be a bust. In June, Puig told ESPN The Magazine that the Dodgers have “wanted to change so many things about me that I feel so off. I don’t feel like the player I was in 2013.” Depressing, but honest.
The Dodgers’ broadcast booth discussed Puig’s relationship with Ward, highlighting that Puig is apparently very close with the coach and works closely—and cooperatively—with him.
Puig said in April that he intended to hit more balls into the air, which hasn’t totally worked out for him so far. His ground ball and fly ball rates have remained roughly consistent with the rest of his career, but he’s also getting boned with a .263 batting average on balls in play. One simple way to land a hit is to send it out of the park.