LA Observed file photo
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reports that Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called a team meeting on Tuesday so everyone could get out their feelings about Yasiel Puig. Previously it had been reported that Mattingly and the young outfielder met privately, she says. In addition to his on-field gaffes during the season-opening games in Australia, there have been reports that Puig came to camp 26 pounds over his end-of-season weight and has seemed distracted. From ESPN.com:
A source described Puig as "very open" during the meeting and receptive to what was said.
"I asked them to please keep helping me," Puig told ESPN.com. "Specifically with baserunning and hitting my cutoff man. I want them to help me with everything they can."
The meeting previously was described as being between the second-year outfielder and the manager, but Mattingly wanted the entire team to have a forum to address the subject in-house, rather than have frustrations boil over or leak out through the media. Veterans Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe were the most vocal players during the meeting, sources said.
"It was good for everybody. Donnie just wanted to squash this, and it did," one veteran, who asked not to be named, told ESPN.com.
Puig said he understood his teammates "wanted to help me get better" and encouraged them to approach him directly anytime they had something to say to him.
"Puig's a good kid. He just didn't come up through the system like we all did," a veteran teammate said.
Afterward, Mattingly addressed the media and said of Puig, "We're good. I've got no issues with Yasiel."
A recent anonymous poll of major league players rated Puig as the second most-overrated player in the leagues.