Spring training 2013: Don Mattingly on Yasiel Puig adjustments

USA TODAY Sports

Puig is batting .391 (9-for-23) in 11 games so far this spring, including a single in three at-bats on Wednesday against the Indians in Goodyear.

With a pair of split squad games on Wednesday, Yasiel Puig wasn't the only part of the Dodgers future on display. The Dodgers had their Baseball America top six prospects in action in Cactus League play, including No. 1 Hyun-jin Ryu striking out five in his three innings of work against the Indians in Goodyear.

But since this section isn't called the Daily Lee or the Daily Joc, let's start with Puig, who started in left field for the Dodgers in Goodyear.

Puig was 1-for-3 with an infield single and two strikeouts, including his first two at-bats against Justin Masterson, whom manager Don Mattingly called a tough righty. Mattingly called Puig batting third just another test for the 22-year-od Cuban outfielder.

In one of his two strikeouts, Puig worked the count full before succumbing, and drew praise from his manager.

"I thought he made good adjustments. One thing I've noticed, if he stays in the strike zone he doesn't really miss too much. He's not a swing and miss guy, in the strike zone. He might swing out of the strike zone and miss, chasing a little bit. But when he's in the strike zone he's usually putting a bat on it," Mattingly said. "He's short to the ball. It's interesting watching a big power guy like that. The issue will end up being, can he keep guys in the strike zone."

In the fourth inning, with Mark Reynolds on second base catcher Yan Gomes grounded a single to Puig in left field. Puig threw the ball into third base instead of second, and Gomes was able to easily advance to second base. But Mattingly said it was just part of the growth process.

"He's just got to get that in. He just kind of lobbed it in. It's kind of like the other day trying to go to second on a play. We haven't seen him do it since, and he's run the bases better," Mattingly said. "On those kind of plays, it's just explanation, getting what we want, and then him not making the same mistake. He seems really smart, and that's where we have to teach, to get what we want."

Notes

  • Corey Seager, ranked No. 3 by Baseball America, played shortstop and was 1-for-2 with a run-scoring single and scored a run in his first ever spring training game.
  • No. 4 Joc Pederson struck out in his only at-bat in Goodyear
  • No. 5 Zach Lee allowed four hits and an unearned run, but also lasted two innings and struck out a batter against Mexico.
  • No. 6 Chris Reed retired all three batters he faced, including one strikeout, against the Indians in Goodyear.
  • Converted pitcher Pedro Baez made the trip to Goodyear but did not pitch against Cleveland.
  • Both Luis Cruz and Adrian Gonzalez were 0-for-2 for Team Mexico.
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