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Why spring training phenom Yasiel Puig isn't playing for the Dodgers this season

by Take Two®

Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Camelback Ranch on February 17, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Dodgers rang in the new baseball season with a bang. Ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw went nine scoreless innings, plus he hit a home run — his first ever in regular season play. It put them ahead of the San Francisco Giants four to nothing. Not bad for opening day.

Kershaw might be the best pitcher in baseball, and he's currently discussing a contract extension with the team that could also make him the highest-paid pitcher in the game. Overall, the Dodger offense looks pretty impressive, but the best hitter in the organization outside of Matt Kemp wasn't in the dugout at Chavez Ravine yesterday.

Yasiel Puig is a 22-year-old outfielder from Cuba, who was voted Dodgers spring training rookie of the year. Mike Piazza and Fernando Valenzuela were just a couple of big names who won the award.  But Puig, who hit .517 in the spring, won't be playing with the Dodgers.  He's been sent to a AA club in Tennessee.  L.A. Times Dodger beat writer Dylan Hernandez explains why.


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