Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has a bright future ahead of him in Major League Baseball — if only he could put his dangerous past behind him.
A recent feature in ESPN the Magazine that details Puig’s amazing escape from his native country of Cuba has Dodgers players and coaches concerned for the safety of their young star.
The feature story reveals how Puig’s harrowing journey from Cuba to the United States forced him to cross paths with several dangerous characters. According to several sources cited in the article, Puig has received multiple death threats from these characters since he defected from Cuba in 2012.
Not surprisingly, the Dodgers are taking these threats very seriously.
“If you care about Yasiel, you worry about it,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Thursday. “There’s some serious stuff that he has to deal with. I think you have to worry about it if you care about him as a person. You worry about what he’s going through.”
The 2014 season hasn’t exactly gotten off to a smooth start for the 23-year-old, who was benched by Mattingly in early April for showing up late to a game.
Still, minor incidents like these take a back seat to Puig’s day-to-day safety, and the Dodgers are doing their best to make sure the electric outfielder can keep doing what he does best: play baseball.