The Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to demote Yasiel Puig to Triple-A Oklahoma City this month surprised some. But for those around the team on a regular basis, it was growing increasingly evident the positive habits Puig developed during the offseason and Spring Training had worn off.
After weeks of Puig spent playing in the Minors, the Dodgers unsurprisingly put him on revocable waivers on Sunday. It’s a relatively mundane procedure clubs do with several players on their roster; including those they have no intention of trading.
And Puig certainly appears to have an understanding of that. “It didn’t surprise me. It’s common for all teams to put players on [revocable] waivers,” he said in a statement to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, which was shown on Monday’s episode of Baseball Tonight.
“I’m just here waiting to see what the future holds. I’m here in Oklahoma giving my best and preparing to have an opportunity, whether that is with another team or to stay with the Dodgers. I have to wait the pertinent time with the waivers and then wait to see what decision [the Dodgers] make. I’m here to play baseball. That’s part of the business of baseball. I came from Cuba to the U.S. to play baseball.”
In the days prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers informed Puig of their intentions to either trade him or send him to the Minors. “I didn’t have any reaction. I already knew it could happen since some years had passed doing whatever I wanted,” he said of the club’s decision.
Puig further explained during an interview with Rivera that aired on a Monday night episode of SportsCenter: “So it was destiny that I could return stronger with the Dodgers or with whatever team in the future that God is preparing for me. If someone picks me off of waivers I welcome that. If it’s with the Dodgers, I welcome that also. What I have to be is a better person with whatever team I am with.”
As for what led to the demotion, Puig had another come-to-face moment. “What wasn’t I doing? What I didn’t need to do, I was doing,” he said. The polarizing outfielder previously accepted responsibility for being sent down to the Minors.
Puig said the Dodgers did not lay out expectations they had for him while with Oklahoma City. “I know what I have to do return to the Majors, and be the person I was in 2013.”
Puig is batting .369/.414/.631 with three doubles, one triple, four home runs and 12 RBI over 18 games.