LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig's arm strength has been on display in right field all season for the Dodgers, and he showed off his cannon in the third inning of the Dodgers' 4-3 loss to the Padres on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.With the bases-loaded against Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill,
LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig's arm strength has been on display in right field all season for the Dodgers, and he showed off his cannon in the third inning of the Dodgers' 4-3 loss to the Padres on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
With the bases-loaded against Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill, Cory Spangenberg ripped a two-out RBI single to right. After one run scored to give the Padres a 2-1 lead, Hunter Renfroe decided to test Puig's arm, only for Puig to fire a ball 96.2 mph to catcher Austin Barnes, his second-fastest throw from the outfield this season, according to Statcast™. The ball arrived just in time for Barnes to tag out Renfroe, ending the inning.
"He just keeps surprising me every time he throws the ball," said Cody Bellinger. "He just keeps throwing it harder and harder."
At 270 feet, it was Puig's longest throw among his four outfield assists this season. Since Statcast™ was introduced for the 2015 season, Puig's hardest throw was a 96.3-mph laser to third base, to get the Angels' Kole Calhoun on June 26 at Dodger Stadium, but only from 159 feet away.
Of course, Puig has been able to catch runners out from long distance in the past. On April 22 against the Rockies, he uncorked a 310-foot strike to third base.
"He's a Gold Glove right fielder," said manager Dave Roberts. "The plays he makes with his arm, the plays he makes with his glove and the many plays he makes to deter a baserunner from advancing."
With a sprint speed of 28 feet per second (league average is 27), Renfroe put up a good effort to beat out Puig's throw, but he was tagged out just before getting his hand on the plate.
"When I went to jump around [Barnes], his glove was laying on the ground, but my arm touched it," Renfroe said. "It took a really good throw."
Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.