Yasiel Puig will make his major league debut on Monday, and the goosebumps on my arm are a good reminder that irrational exuberance both still exists and can be fun. After reading countless questions in my Twitter replies from impatient fans regarding either Puig's arrival or when he would move to third base, some of that fun was sucked away. But once the Dodgers announced the move on Sunday afternoon it was easy to revert back to spring training, when watching Puig was one of the most delightful and exciting things I have ever seen in baseball.
Puig doesn't necessarily have high expectations, unless one considers him the needed spark to turn an underachieving 23-32 team into a playoff squad. But there are two reasons why Puig doesn't have high expectations:
Those are the batting lines of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, respectively.
But, sometimes irrational expectations are fun, so let's look back at some notable Dodgers major league debuts. The last Dodger in his major league debut to...
- start batting leadoff was Jose Offerman, on Aug. 19, 1990.
- start batting second was Ivan DeJesus, on Apr. 1, 2011.
- start batting third was Eric Young, on July 30, 1992.
- start at cleanup was George Shuba, on July 2, 1948.
- start batting fifth was James Loney, on Apr. 4, 2006.
- start batting sixth was Andy LaRoche, on May 6, 2007.
- start batting seventh was Jerry Sands, on Apr. 18, 2011.
- start batting eighth was Justin Sellers, on Aug. 12, 2011.
- have two extra-base hits was Ernie Koy, on Apr. 19, 1938.
- have two hits was Russell Martin, on May 5, 2006.
- have three hits was Mike Piazza, on Sept. 1, 1992.
- reach base three time was Blake DeWitt, on Mar. 31, 2008.
- reach base four times was Piazza, on Sept. 1, 1992.
- walk twice was DeWitt, on Mar. 31, 2008.
- drive in two runs was Chad Billingsley, on June 15, 2006.
- drive in three runs was Packy Rogers, on July 7, 1938.
- score two runs was Steve Yeager, on Aug. 2, 1972.
Now the Dodgers MLB debut records:
- Total bases: Offerman, six on Aug. 19, 1990
- Hits: Casey Stengel, four, on Sep. 17, 1912
- Stolen bases: One, by many; Adam Riggs was the last, on Aug. 7, 1997.
Six Dodgers have hit home runs in their first major league at-bat:
- Clise Dudley, on Apr. 27, 1929
- Gordon Slade, on May 24, 1930
- Koy, on Apr. 19, 1938
- Dan Bankhead, on Aug. 26, 1947
- Offerman, on Aug. 19, 1990
- Garey Ingram, on May 19, 1994