The daily Yasiel Puig tracker has turned to a positive outlook on Thursday, with the Dodgers outfielder now reportedly running at 100 percent, an upgrade from just a few days ago. But while manager Don Mattingly told reporters on Thursday that Puig's recovery was "miraculous," it's important to note there are still hurdles to clear before Puig is ready for the NLDS roster.
"Like three days ago, he was running at 80% and having pain," Mattingly said. "And then, all of a sudden, he’s going 100% and feels fine.
"It’s been pretty miraculous, actually, for me."
J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News has more:
"It’s been pretty miraculous, actually, for me," Mattingly said. "Howie (Kendrick, who missed most of September with a strained hamstring) was at 80 to 90 and it stayed at 90 for like 10 days. Yas was able to go from 80 to almost 100. That’s almost legendary."
It is important to keep in mind that Puig is something Mattingly gets asked about daily by reporters, and usually it's the same old news, based on reports Mattingly receives from team trainers and coaches at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. It can become a game of telephone.
For instance, I read this version from Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register with more doubt, or perhaps the proper level of skepticism:
According to Mattingly, the reports he is getting from trainers at the Dodgers' complex in Arizona indicate Puig is now running at 100 percent -- "supposedly," Mattingly said.
What is more important, to me, is that Thursday is the day Puig is playing in the outfield during an instructional league game, roughly four innings per the beat reporters. That's Puig's first time in the field since Aug. 27, hitting the disabled list with a strained right hamstring one day later.
Thursday is Puig's 33rd game missed on this DL stint, after missing 39 games earlier in the season with a left hamstring strain.
The National League Division Series starts in eight days, on Friday, Oct. 9, so the next few days are crucial for Puig's availability against the Mets. He'll still need to face live pitching to get back on track and in rhythm, in time to be productive for the NLDS.
Understandably, Mattingly isn't committing to anything yet. Per Mark Saxon of ESPN LA:
Mattingly said the team hasn’t made any determinations yet about whether Puig will be available for the NLDS roster, but he also didn’t rule it out.