Q&A: Indians Getting Big Man, Big Personality, In Yasiel Puig
Updated 6:17 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019
Update: On Thursday afternoon, Major League Baseball announced Puig, who was still a member of the Reds at the time of the incident, will serve a three-game suspension for his participation in Tuesday's bench-clearing brawl between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. Puig is appealing the suspension, which makes him eligible to take the field in his first game with the Indians as the Tribe faces the Houston Astros Thursday night.
The Cleveland Indians pulled off a big trade, officially announced Wednesday, sending starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati for a combination of five players from the Reds and San Diego Padres.
ideastream's Glenn Forbes talked with longtime Cincinnati sportswriter C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic to learn more about Yasiel Puig, expected to debut in Cleveland Thursday, and minor league pitcher Scott Moss, who will report to the Double-A Akron Rubber Ducks.
When it comes to Yasiel Puig league baseball fans in Cleveland know a little bit about him. We've had some obscene gestures from Puig here in the past. What kind of player and what kind of person are the Indians getting in Yasiel Puig?
You know, they always talk about guys when they walk off the bus. He is a guy that you notice when you walk off the bus – a large man, he has a great arm. A lot of power. After a slow start, he played pretty well for the Reds. And you know he's a big personality on the field. Inside the clubhouse he was well-liked by his teammates. For the most part, they talked about what a great teammate he was, how much help he kept them loose.
And it was really interesting to watch him embrace being in this community. He'd been in Los Angeles for a long time… his entire career professional career. And he embraced coming to Cincinnati while some might look down on it coming from a market like L.A..
Will the Indians get the best of Yasiel Puig, seeing as how he's entering free agency after two or three months of baseball here?
Oh, yeah. There are lots of stories and concerns but he was on his best behavior here. It's a practical thing. He knows a lot is on the line and with the Indians making the run that they are and another possible postseason appearance. This is a guy who is who has shown up big in the postseason before. He craves that spotlight.
So, who had the messier exit from their team? We had Trevor Bauer throwing the ball over the center field fence in Kansas City Sunday and then Tuesday night it was the brawl between the Reds and the Pirates with Yasiel Puig in the middle of it.
It depends on if Yasiel Puig starts his Cleveland tenure with a suspension. As far as the fans of Cincinnati were concerned they gave him a standing ovation as he walked off. It will certainly be something I never forget.
Looking at the Trevor Bauer situation, this may be the kind of a move by the Reds that some people question, especially with Bauer's stated desire to sign these lucrative one-year contracts after he's done with arbitration next year. What are the chances Bauer sticks in Cincinnati long term?
You never know with Trevor Bauer. And that's not something the Reds are really concerned about right now. For the Reds, their concern is that he is here the rest of 2019 and 2020. They're making a concerted effort to be better, not just this year but really in 2020. And they gave up their top prospect to do that.
What can you tell us about Scott Moss, the hot-prospect AA pitcher who was also part of this trade deal? He'll also report to a Double-A team for the Indians down in Akron.
He's a left hander out of the University of Florida. And when you look at what the University of Florida has done with its pitchers, it's really impressive.
He’s a control guy, a lefty. He knows how to pitch. He's one of those guys that's moved up the system because he knows what he's doing on the mound.
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