Despite being a career .277/.350/.475 hitter (128 wRC+) with over 100 home runs, 60 stolen bases, and a sub-20% career strikeout rate, Yasiel Puig never got much respect in Los Angeles.
That’s due – in part – because of how he never quite lived up to the level of production he posted in either of his first two seasons (160 wRC+, 148 wRC+ and 9.4 combined WAR) and also in part because of the type of player and person he is both on and off the field. He just isn’t for everyone and that’s probably always going to be the case.
Which is why I wasn’t particularly surprised to see him traded to Cincinnati over the offseason. With or without the Dodgers pursuit of free agent outfield A.J. Pollock, Puig’s time in Los Angeles was probably always coming to an end.
But tonight he made his triumphant return to Dodgers stadium and in his first at-bat against the Dodgers – versus Clayton Kershaw, no less – Puig reminded them of what they gave up:
PUIG TAKES KERSHAW DEEP TO CENTER! pic.twitter.com/O9JY6yQuGj
— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) April 16, 2019
Yo. That is an absolute blast.
And Puig – always the showman – let them know it:
Puig’s revenge. pic.twitter.com/olDkgiiKCC
— MLB (@MLB) April 16, 2019
That was only Puig’s second home run of the season, but I bet he’ll remember that one for a while. For tonight only … Go Reds.