Puig working on adjusting hitting mechanics

Puig working on adjusting hitting mechanics

PITTSBURGH -- Yasiel Puig has been doing extra work on his hitting mechanics, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said it is starting to show.

"I think he's been swinging better for sure," Mattingly said of Puig, who was batting .247 entering Saturday. "We're just trying to get him straight. He's been too far turned, too far forward. We want to get him straightened back up so he's not so twisted. Yesterday he hit one ball hard, had good swings and good takes. For a few weeks now, I think he's been pretty solid.

"He gets a little bent over and, for me, too twisted. We've been fighting, but we've made some progress and to his credit, he has to do the work. He's stayed on it and it's showed. We're trying to build good habits and get rid of stuff that builds up over time."

Puig was batting only .167 this month after hitting .198 in July. His season has been twice interrupted, a left hamstring injury hobbling him for six weeks, then a torn callus on his left hand that made it hard to swing the bat.

Puig had a .741 OPS, but against right-handed pitching it was .698.

"Knowing from hitting, you make small changes and the next thing you know you're kind of lost," said Mattingly. "Guys that tinker -- I was one -- have to get back to square one. It's just straight lines. It's a feel you're pulling off the ball, so the natural thing is stay in there and turn more inward, and that gets you in more trouble. I wish it was so easy as just turning a screw, and now we're straight and now we hit. It's not that easy."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.