Cuban Sensation, Yasiel Puig, To Open Season With The Chattanooga Lookouts

Former Lookouts' Shortstop Dee Gordon Sent To Triple-A

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Yasiel Puig
Yasiel Puig
- photo by USA Today Sports
The Dodgers optioned Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig to Double-A Chattanooga and Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday.

The decision not to rush Puig was made, in part, as a result of a decision two years ago to rush Gordon.

Puig, who signed for $42 million last summer as a relative unknown, dominated the Cactus League with a .526 batting average, a Bo Jackson-like frame and an explosive energy that thrilled fans and ruffled opponents.

But the Dodgers outfield is full with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford. Besides, Puig has only 95 professional plate appearances after missing the entire 2011 season following a failed attempt to defect from Cuba.

Management believes he needs more seasoning, especially in the subtle parts of the game, and needs to play every day, which would have been almost impossible in the big leagues. Skip Schumaker and Jerry Hairston are the extra outfielders.

"I told him he had a great camp and he didn't do anything wrong," manager Don Mattingly said. "It was an organizational decision from the standpoint of what we think is best for him now and the long term.

Mattingly said Puig didn't say anything, but "he didn't seem too happy about it."

In part, Gordon is one of the reasons Puig was sent down. The Dodgers did the opposite when Gordon was their best position prospect. They dealt away shortstop Rafael Furcal at the Trade Deadline in 2011 and gave the job to Gordon, who responded with a solid final two months of that season.

But he struggled on both sides of the ball in the first half of 2012, then suffered a torn thumb ligament on a head-first dive into third base just before the All-Star break, requiring surgery that cost him virtually the rest of the season.

"We felt he needs to be playing every day and continuing to develop," Mattingly said. "We felt like we rushed him a little bit. He had a good camp, great attitude, no issues. He's another guy we want to come up and be able to stay. We want him ready, polished, able to do the stuff we found out he wasn't ready for. You make a plan for a guy, an injury happens [to Hanley Ramirez], what's the best answer? We didn't feel Dee was the best answer for Hanley."

Gordon's injury last year led to the acquisition of Ramirez from Miami. Ramirez suffered a similar injury at the World Baseball Classic earlier this year, but instead of allowing Gordon to replace him, Luis Cruz was moved over from third base, with a trio of utility men -- Juan Uribe, Hairston and Nick Punto -- rotating at third base.

---- Source: MLB.com


Gilliland Low Pro At Council Fire

Hunt Gilliland shot 74 Monday and took low-pro honors at the Chattanooga Chapter TN PGA Pro-Am Results at tCouncil Fire. Individual Results: Low Professional: 1st: (74) Hunt Gilliland                               T2nd: (75) Tad Holley & Brandon Arnold  Professional Skins: Nathan ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Conduct And Courage Lead To Honor

Virgil Roberson was a quiet and soft-spoken man. I never heard him say anything bad about anybody....never. His smile could light up an entire room, and unless you already knew that Virgil was one of the most successful track coaches in Chattanooga's rich sports history, you likely would never know. He certainly wouldn't tell you. He was also a very valuable assistant football coach ... (click for more)

State Says "Beef" Between 2 Bloods Gangs Started Over A Female And Led Eventually To Shootings At College Hill Courts

The state presented testimony on Monday about a feud between two Bloods gangs that allegedly eventually led to a 16-year-old shooting up a unit at College Hill Courts - killing one woman, injuring another, leaving a child paralyzed and injuring a member of the other Bloods gang. A city police gang expert said the bitter rift between the Athens Park Bloods based on the Southside ... (click for more)

Walker County To Raise Water, Sewer Rates To Improve Aging Infrastructure

 The board of directors for the Walker County Water & Sewerage Authority (WCWSA) has granted approval for the utility to move forward with a base rate increase to address aging infrastructure concerns.   Starting this summer, WCWSA will begin replacing older galvanized pipe. These older water mains will be upgraded from two-inch galvanized pipe to six-inch high-pressure ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oh Yes, I Loved West

One of my most beloved friends died early Saturday morning at the age of 67. Then again, West Oehmig’s only brother – King – died a couple of years ago at 63 so it wasn’t by happenstance I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s famous line: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Here are two brothers who lived larger than any other pair I can ... (click for more)