March 2016

Corey Seager busy in return to action


By Jon Weisman

The fates didn’t waste any time throwing the business at Corey Seager in his first Dodger game in nearly three weeks.

(more…)

Scott Kazmir finishes Spring Training safe at any speed

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Scott Kazmir began tonight’s Freeway Series opener against the Angels with his two-seam fastball running between 88 and 90 mph in the first inning.

Then, with two outs and two strikes on C.J. Cron, Kazmir hit 92 with a fastball that Cron fouled into A.J. Ellis’ glove for strike three.

The speed bump wasn’t a coincidence.

(more…)

Alex Guerrero to begin season on disabled list

IMG_3549

Angels at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Chase Utley, 2B
A.J. Ellis, C
Corey Seager, SS
Scott Kazmir, P

By Jon Weisman

As the Dodgers returned home from their wanderings in the desert, they took another step toward finalizing their Opening Day roster — with other steps remaining to go before Saturday morning deadline.

Dodger manager Dave Roberts said that Alex Guerrero remains at Camelback Ranch and will begin the season on the disabled list

“He had an MRI that showed minimal damage, but now we at least understand the discomfort and the pain he’s having in his knee,” Roberts said. “I really don’t know what the specifics were — I talked to the training staff, and whatever verbiage they used, it kind of validated some of the pain he’s been having.”

In other developments:

(more…)

Rick Monday, Tom Paciorek, J.D. Drew elected to College Baseball Hall

Rick Monday kneeling 1965

TPBy Jon Weisman

Three former Dodgers — Rick Monday, Tom Paciorek and J.D. Drew — have been elected to the 2016 class of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Monday, the current broadcaster whose capture-the-flag exploits and 1981 National League Championship Series-winning home run made him a Dodger legend, was the first draft pick in MLB history after The Sporting News named him 1965 National Player of the Year.  We chronicled Monday’s journey from college to draft groundbreaker in a Dodger Insider feature last summer.

Drew, who had a .905 OPS for the Dodgers from 2004-05 and was part of the heroic 4+1 quintet, was a two-time All-American and consensus national player of the year awards in 1997 for Florida State.

Paciorek, who played the first six seasons of his 18-year MLB career with the Dodgers, was an All-American in 1967 and 1968 and hit .435 in 1967 for Houston.

The Dodgers’ best strike and ball hitters

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 10.01.21 PM

By Cary Osborne

Let’s take you back to little league. Swing at strikes, good things happen. Swing at balls, bad things happen.

But how good? And how bad?

For Dodger players, we know the answer to those questions thanks to information from Brooks Baseball. And we also know the answer to if any one has success swinging at balls.

In 2015, the Dodger who had the most success on pitches thrown in the strike zone, if you go by batting average and the qualifier being 100 strikes put in play, was Kiké Hernandez. He was 41 for 113 on in-the-zone pitches put in play. But it’s close. Adrian Gonzalez had nearly triple the amount of strikes put in play and was 105 for 294.

(more…)

In case you missed it: Camelback farewell beckons …

Indians at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Trayce Thompson, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Rob Segedin, 3B
Charlie Culberson, SS
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

On the final day of Cactus League play at Camelback Ranch for 2016, here are some Dodger tidbits …

  • Though he remains hopeful that Yasmani Grandal will be on the Opening Day roster Monday, Dave Roberts told reporters today that A.J. Ellis would catch Clayton Kershaw.
  • Roberts didn’t leak his entire Opening Day batting order, but predicted Justin Turner-Adrian Gonzalez would be in the three-four slots, and that Chase Utley (playing second base in place of Howie Kendrick) might lead off. For what it’s worth, Utley has OPSed .892 this spring.
  • Corey Seager remains scheduled to start Thursday in the Dodgers’ Freeway Series opener.
  • Trayce Thompson, Charlie Culberson, Rob Segedin and Austin Barnes should see action in the Freeway Series, but Rico Noel, Elian Herrera and Brandon Beachy won’t.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu had a full bullpen session scheduled for today and should begin facing hitters at Camelback next week. All players on the disabled list are to be at Dodger Stadium for Opening Day, however.
  • Scott Kazmir provides an interesting touchstone for Julio Urias in this Ken Gurnick MLB.com story. Kazmir was 20 when he made his big-league debut for Tampa Bay, whose director of baseball development at the time was Andrew Friedman.
  • Don Newcombe told Ron Cervenka of Think Blue L.A. that running is the key for a pitcher to stay healthy.
  • MLB players and coaches can now have iPads in the dugout during games. Roberts said his staff might take advantage, but that he was more likely to stick with paper.

Dodgers announce 2016 themed ticket packages

Packages

USC NIght T-ShirtBy Yvonne Carrasco

What’s in the cards at Dodger Stadium? The Dodgers are dealing 21 special ticket packages this season. Ante up …

USC Night April 26, 7:10 p.m. vs. Miami
USC students, alumni and fans are invited to wear their cardinal and gold. A ticket package that includes a ticket to the game and an exclusive co-branded USC Dodgers T-shirt starting at $19 is available by visiting dodgers.com/USC. A Trojan victory pizza slice and Trojan victory drink will be offered by Levy Restaurants.

UCLA Night April 28, 7:10 p.m. vs. San Diego
UCLA Night T-shirtUCLA students, alumni and fans are invited to wear their blue and gold. A special ticket package that includes a ticket to the game and an exclusive co-branded UCLA Dodger T-shirt starting at $19 is available by visiting dodgers.com/UCLA. A Bruin pizza slice and Bruin bear drink will be offered by Levy Restaurants. UCLA alumna Lisa Fernandez will throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Fitness Night May 13, 7:10 p.m. vs. St. Louis
National Physical Fitness and Sports month will be celebrated. A special ticket package that includes a ticket to the game and an exclusive Dodgers’ Shaker Cup starting at $31 is available by visiting dodgers.com/fitness. Friday Night Fireworks will also take place on Fitness Night. A chicken verde sandwich will be offered by Levy Restaurants.

Military Appreciation Night May 24, 7:10 p.m. vs. Cincinnati
Active and retired military members and their families and supporters of our troops are welcome to purchase this special ticket package. It includes a ticket to the game and a Military Appreciation Night T-shirt with packages starting at just $15 and available by visiting dodgers.com/armedforces. A freedom dog will be offered by Levy Restaurants.
(more…)

Nine surprising Opening Day starters for the Dodgers

Luis Cruz greets Justin Sellers during Opening Day introductions in 2013. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Luis Cruz greets Justin Sellers during 2013 Opening Day introductions. (Photos by Jon SooHoo)

Vicente Padilla allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings on Opening Day 2010. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Vicente Padilla allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings on Opening Day 2010.

By Jon Weisman

Every spring, there’s tons of edge-of-your-laptop anticipation over who will start for the Dodgers on Opening Day, even if it won’t mean much by the end of that year, month, week or game.

Going back 30 years, here are nine of the most eccentric picks for the Dodgers’ season-opening lineups. Do you remember them all? They’re each peculiar yet lovable in their own way …

(more…)

Ross Stripling falters near finish but stays on radar

Ross Stripling in February (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Ross Stripling in February (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Ross Stripling had an interesting day today — not as interesting as the 11-9 final score of the Dodgers’ loss to the Padres would suggest — but interesting nonetheless.

(more…)

Dodgers Accelerator taking applications for Year 2

Scene from the Dodgers Accelerator presentations November 10. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Scene from the Dodgers Accelerator presentations November 10. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

AcceleratorBy Jon Weisman

One year ago, the Dodgers and R/GA debuted Dodgers Accelerator (@DodgersAccel on Twitter), an incubator for sports business and technology development, with 10 businesses ultimately presenting their work at a Dodger Stadium event in November.  Partnership deals and capital raises for participants followed.

Today, applications are now open for the second year of Dodgers Accelerator action.

(more…)