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Yasiel Puig exits early with lower back tightness

Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig left Friday night’s game against the Miami Marlins in the fifth inning with lower back tightness. He went 0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored prior to departing, when he was replaced in center field by Joc Pederson.

On the season, Puig is now batting .243/.321/.432 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs. He has already matched his stolen base total from 104 games last year in his first 41 games in 2017 with five steals. The 11 double plays he has into leads all of major league baseball.

Despite the Dodgers’s abundance of outfield bats, Puig has struggled in the platoon scenario. All eight of his home runs have come against right-handed pitching this season, while he bats just .159 against southpaws coming into Friday night. Similarly, he has struggled away from Chavez Ravine, as seven of his eight long balls have come at Dodger Stadium.

Already in his fifth season with Los Angeles, Puig has struggled to produce anywhere near the numbers he put up during his lone All-Star season in 2014. He finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2013, before he made it to the Mid-summer Classic the following year, as he finished with 62 extra-base hits.

So far in 2017, he is on pace for new career lows in batting average and on-base percentage. But to this point, he appears to have been healthy enough to appear in more than 105 games for just the second time in his career. He is eligible to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2018 season.

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