Embattled outfielder Yasiel Puig would have preferred a trade to another team instead of being demoted to the minors, but he admitted he has learned some humility since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Triple-A team in Oklahoma City.
Puig, who was placed on revocable waivers by the organization on Sunday, spoke with ESPN’s Marly Rivera in Oklahoma City about lessons learned and his future in the majors — as well as the difficulty of watching the Dodgers’ recent run of success.
“Watching the Dodgers being in first place, it’s very difficult,” Puig said. “The moment I arrived in L.A., people were crazy for me — 50-60 thousand people [cheering] at the stadium. I got used to that amount of fans. Getting to Triple-A and not seeing as many fans is not very appealing or fun to play baseball, but this is what I have to do for my future.”
He admitted that his future in Dodger blue is now out of his control.
“I keep hitting. I’m behaving. I’m doing the work I have to do,” Puig said. “What I did wrong before and I have been doing better the last two or three weeks that I’ve been here. [Being called up] does not depend on me. All I can do is try to improve what I did wrong, the things that got me sent me here. The rest does not depend on me, that’s [a decision for] the GM, the president. Only God knows where I will end up.”
Puig said that adapting to the rules of a major league clubhouse since his breakout season in 2013 contributed to his struggles both on and off the field.
“It is the same rules whether [you’re] in Cuba or in the U.S.,” Puig said. “If you don’t train, if you don’t respect your coaches, whether you are amateur or professional, you will have the same problems.”
Puig also spoke about what advice he would give to his younger self.
“I would give him the same advice I would be asking for right now. I would sit with him face-to-face and then tell him the things that he has been doing wrong, the things he should do better to be a better teammate and stay in the big leagues, all the things that were never done with him.”