Puig crashes into wall on great grab, later exits

Right fielder day to day with sprained right shoulder

May 19th, 2019

CINCINNATI -- One of the precious few good moments the Reds had during Sunday’s 8-3 loss to the Dodgers ended up having some negative consequences.

In the top of the sixth inning, right fielder Yasiel Puig made a fantastic leaping catch in foul territory. But the impact of landing on the ground left him with a sprained right shoulder. He batted in the bottom of the sixth and left the game before the eighth inning. He is considered day to day for a return.

“I’m feeling a little bit tight and hurt in my right shoulder,” Puig said. “I took that AB and after that, I told them all I don’t feel good and I’m coming out of the game. The doctor checked my shoulder.”

As reliever Michael Lorenzen was in a bases-loaded situation with two outs, Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu lifted a foul ball. Running at full speed toward the right-field line, Puig crashed into the wall as he jumped for the inning-ending catch while reaching over into the seats.

After he landed back on the dirt, Puig appeared to be grabbing at his left elbow.

“I hit my elbow on the concrete, but I feel fine from that part,” Puig said.

Puig softly grounded a ball back to Ryu for the second out in the bottom of the sixth.

“The time I swung, I felt it a little bit more after the swing than the beginning,” Puig said.

Jesse Winker moved from left field to right field to replace Puig while Jose Peraza went from second base to left field.

"He's always been a good outfielder, so I wasn't too surprised when he made that play,” Ryu said via an interpreter. “The important thing is to stay healthy, so I felt bad for him in that regard.”

How this injury impacts the Reds' lineup remains to be seen. The team is off on Monday before opening a two-game series at Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Puig will be examined again by a doctor Monday morning, but there was optimism a stint on the injured list would not be needed.

“It’s a good thing we have an off-day tomorrow,” Reds manager David Bell said. “More day to day. It didn’t sound too serious. No mention of [IL].”

Puig didn’t appear too worried he would miss much time, if any. Should he not be able to play, the Reds have a backup outfielder in Phillip Ervin or could also opt for Winker while Peraza, Ervin or Derek Dietrich could take left field.

“I might take a shot or something to [heal] quicker and see how I feel Tuesday for the game,” Puig said. “If not, I will be back in the lineup Wednesday.”

It’s been a challenging first season in Cincinnati thus far for Puig, who is batting .206/.253./.358 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs. An 0-for-3 game Sunday with a double play left him 3-for-22 on the just-concluded six-game homestand.

“After years playing the big leagues, I understand now that if I don’t hit, you have a lot of ways to help your team and when I’m not doing good with my bat, I try to do the best I can to help my team, my teammates and the pitchers to make a great catch and do good things over there,” Puig said.