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


UTC Softball Selected As Preseason Favorite

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Chattanooga Mocs have been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2015 Southern Conference softball championship by the league’s head coaches. Additionally, pitcher Katie Henderson, third baseman Sarah Beth Roberts and outfielder Nicole Osterman were named Preseason First-Team All-SoCon, while pitcher Taylor Deason, catcher Anyssa Robles, and outfielder ... (click for more)

Lady Scots Basketball Suffers Loss At Piedmont

DEMOREST, Ga. -- Piedmont used a 24-0 scoring run in the first half and cruised to an 81-60 win over the Covenant women's basketball team on Wednesday night inside Cave Arena. Aleigha Williams and Morgan Woodward each had 16 points for Covenant (2-16, 2-9 USA South). Woodward added five rebounds and four assists, while Williams also collected five rebounds in the defeat, Covenant's ... (click for more)

Chief Fletcher Gives Maximum Punishment To Officer Who Fired At Vehicle That Backed Toward Him; Attorney Vows To Fight To Reverse Decision

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher has given a maximum punishment to an officer who fired four shots toward a vehicle after he said the driver backed into his vehicle with him standing behind it. Chief Fletcher sustained a finding of “improper use of force – discharge of firearm.” He suspended Officer Alex Olson for 30 days without pay – the maximum suspension allowed ... (click for more)

Van Found On Its Side Off Burkhalter Gap Road; Woman's Remains Nearby; May Be Trenton Woman Missing Since June 4

A van was found on its side off Burkhalter Gap Road on the side of Lookout Mountain near Trenton, Ga., on Wednesday with a woman's body nearby. Authorities said the woman may be a missing Trenton woman. Justine Marie Creech had been missing since June 4. The discovery was made by a woman out hiking. A skull and remains were near the rear tire, authorities said.  ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This One’s For ‘Grifter’

Back in October of 2013 a Facebook page called “OAF Nation” was created to “boost the morale” of the heroes who make up our nation’s military.” It was tongue-in-cheek satire, putting funny captions on every-day pictures that showed members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as they defended our country. Our fighting men and women loved it. It quickly went viral and today ... (click for more)