Puig, Ramirez bound to decline

The duo is due to fall off and other Dodgers must step up

Updated: July 20, 2013, 11:25 AM ET
By Mike Petriello | ESPN Insider

Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel PuigJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesThe Dodgers' dynamic duo cannot be expected to carry the team the way they have of late.

If it seems like everything is finally going right for the Los Angeles Dodgers these days, that's only because it more or less is in comparison to how miserable the first three months of the season had gone. After a seemingly endless stretch of injuries and ineptitude, they've finally managed to get healthy -- or something close to it -- and play like the talent-laden team most had expected them to be.

Since a loss on June 20 to San Diego that sunk the Dodgers to a season-worst 12 games under .500 and 9 1/2 games out in the division, they've won 19 of 24, and put themselves right on the heels of the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks.

It's not difficult to see how. Rookie sensation Yasiel Puig has made an enormous splash, hitting .391/.422/.616 through the All-Star break while wowing fans both on defense and on the basepaths. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez was somehow even better, hitting .386/.444/.693 after finally returning from injuries to both his thumb and hamstring. But the fact is Puig and Ramirez can't keep this up all season, and if the Dodgers are going to make the playoffs, they're going to need to get their two key performers some help.