Angels manager Mike Scioscia has sided with Giants manager Bruce Bochy on a subject both are familiar with — building an All-Star Game roster. More specifically, Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times that Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig does not yet deserve All-Star status.
Scioscia acknowledges Puig’s talent and the 22-year-old’s impact since being called up on June 3. Puig batted .436 with seven home runs, 16 RBIs and a league-best OPS of 1.180 in the month of June, but the 2003 AL All-Star manager thinks the Cuban defector’s body of work is still too small.
From the Times:
“I think he needs to go a little farther to earn it,” Scioscia said.
“If he’s not an All-Star this year, he’s going to be an All-Star for years to come,” Scioscia said of Puig. “But I do think you have to play enough to earn a spot on the All-Star team.”
Nonetheless, as Bochy works with Major League Baseball officials to complete the NL roster, Scioscia said he expects Puig to be given strong consideration.
“I don’t think MLB will discount what he’s done, even though it’s a limited number of at-bats,” Scioscia said. “There’s a pull to bring the best players to the game, because of the bearing it has on home-field advantage in the World Series. That’s going to give him a deeper look than maybe it would have been in any other situation.”
Scioscia, a longtime Dodgers star, had no reservations about Puig’s talent.
“He’s as dynamic a player as you’re going to see in the major leagues,” Scioscia said.
Scioscia’s opinion follows Bochy’s comments from June 18. Bochy will be tasked with managing and helping to select the NL All-Star team. He saw the upside of including one of the league’s most intriguing players in the All-Star Game, but did not want to take a roster spot away from a player who had performed the entire first half of the season.
From the Los Angeles Daily News:
“I would have a hard time picking somebody who has been here three weeks, to be honest. The numbers would have to be so stupid that you say, ‘Ok I’ll consider it.’ But, you know, I couldn’t take away from a player who has been here and done it the whole half and been out there grinding every day and he doesn’t go. I couldn’t look at that player. I couldn’t look at myself, to be honest. So that’s why I’m saying, that’s a really long shot.”
On Wednesday, Phillies reliever Jonathan Papelbon took a less diplomatic approach to the debate, characterizing Puig’s All-Star candidacy as “an absolute joke.”