Heading into the 2015 season Yasiel Puig figured to play a key role in the Los Angeles Dodgers withstanding and overcoming the offensive production lost with Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez no longer being part of the club.
However, Puig only managed to play in 11 games during the first month of the regular season before landing on the disabled list for the first time in his career due to a strained left hamstring.
He returned June 6, then strained his right hamstring and was placed on the DL on Aug. 28. The hamstring issues can be loosely tied to Puig’s muscular frame that garnered plenty of attention given his speed despite a large frame.
However, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman believes the dynamic outfielder may not necessarily benefit from continuing to add muscle, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Friedman on Puig: "He has continued to get bigger and stronger each year. It may not be the optimal size for him to play 150-plus games."
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) November 9, 2015
With that, Friedman added the focus of Puig should be on further preparing to withstand the rigors of a full season, via Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
Andrew Freidman said main focus for Yasiel Puig this offseason is "Putting his body in the position to play 150-plus games."
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) November 9, 2015
Puig debuted with the Dodgers in June of 2013 and appeared in 104 games. His first full season was an All-Star campaign that saw Puig play in 142 games and hit .296/.382/.480 with 16 home runs and 69 RBIs.
The hamstring injuries limited Puig to just 79 games last season. Should there be merit to the belief Puig’s frame was getting to the point where it’s counterproductive, some encouragement can be found with him appearing to have dropped weight once he returned in October.
Puig joked he had liposuction, then credited the weight loss to the training and running he did at the club’s Spring Training facility in Arizona.