Los Angeles Dodgers fans will have to wait before they can see 22-year-old Cuban slugging sensation Yasiel Puig.
Puig will be suiting up next week for the Chattanooga Lookouts.
The Dodgers optioned the promising outfielder to Class AA Chattanooga on Tuesday. The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder had been mesmerizing in 26 big-league camp appearances, hitting .526 with two triples, three home runs and 11 RBIs.
Dodgers farm director DeJon Watson confirmed the transaction but declined to elaborate. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly discussed it with reporters at spring training in Arizona.
"When we came into camp, this guy wasn't even on the radar," Mattingly said. "I kind of look at Yasiel like a Ferrari. The motor is there. The body is there. The wheels are there. Everything's there, but they just haven't painted it yet.
"It's not like we're sending him to Siberia. If he's doing the same thing he was doing here, I'm assuming he won't be there long."
Puig defected from Cuba last year and in June signed a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Dodgers that included a staggering $12 million up front. He played in 14 games last August in the high Single-A California League and hit .327 with four RBIs.
He does not have the only lofty price tag for the Dodgers, who have an outfield of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...