Jonathan Papelbon: It's Too Early to Call Dodgers' Puig an All-Star

Image: Jonathan Papelbon: It's Too Early to Call Dodgers' Puig an All-Star Jonathan Papelbon, left, and Yasiel Puig.

Wednesday, 03 Jul 2013 03:14 PM

By Ken Mandel

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Jonathan Papelbon thinks it's a little too early for all the hoopla surrounding Los Angeles Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig.

Puig has delighted baseball fans with tape-measure home runs, exemplary defense, and outstanding speed on the bases.

The Cuban defector is gaining popularity with each swing of his potent bat, and is a likely future All-Star. Just not this season, according to Philadelphia Phillies closer Papelbon.

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"The guy's got a month, I don't even think he's got a month in the big leagues," Papelbon told MLB Network Radio on Tuesday. "Just comparing him to this and that, and saying he's going to make the All-Star team, that's a joke. It's really kind of stupid if you ask me."

Outfielder Puig, 22, debuted a month ago on June 2, and went 2-for-4 against the San Diego Padres. He smashed two homers and drove in five runs the next night. The Dodgers are 16-11 in 27 games with Puig in the lineup, batting mostly second or leadoff. Overall, he's batting .443 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs.

Papelbon, who hasn't yet faced Puig, has a 2.05 ERA and 15 saves this season. The five-time All-Star received his first Midsummer Classic nod in 2006, in his first full season as a closer, but doesn't feel that the budding L.A. star has logged enough time, he told the radio program.

"It's just really what happens in baseball when ... to me it really does an injustice to the veteran players that have been in the game for eight-, nine-, 10-plus years. It kind of does them an injustice because they've worked so hard to stay there."

Debates like this aren't new. A similar discussion occurred in 2010 when Washington Nationals' phenom Stephen Strasburg was being talked about as a potential All-Star despite his limited big-league time. The right-hander didn't make the squad that season, but he did last year.

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