In case you missed it: About that fifth-starter spot …
By Cary Osborne
Before the asphalt could cool on Mike Bolsinger’s seemingly paved path to the fifth starter spot in the Dodger rotation, the right-hander was scratched minutes before his scheduled start on Sunday against the San Diego Padres at Camelback Ranch.
While warming up in the bullpen, less than an hour after the Dodgers announced Zach Lee was optioned to minor league camp, Bolsinger felt a tweak in his left side after throwing a curveball. Instead, career-minor leaguer Jeremy Kehrt made the emergency start and the Dodgers trudged through a 12-5 loss at Camelback Ranch.
Dave Roberts told reporters after the game it was a mild oblique injury.
Now it seems the competition is back on, with Carlos Frias, Brandon Beachy and Lee all possibly in the mix. SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo reported that Roberts said Lee could be called back to Major League camp.
Frias pitched in relief against the Padres on Sunday and went 2 2/3 innings and allowed three hits and an earned run, while striking out one.
The Dodgers also lost 3-1 in in Maryvale to the Brewers where there were a couple of other interesting pitching storylines.
After Scott Kazmir struggled in his last two Cactus League outings and had a much-analyzed B-game on a minor league field at Camelback Ranch on March 14, the veteran left-hander had his sharpest outing of the spring.
There were downs with the ups, but overall he was much improved, having gone four innings, allowing one earned run, four hits and one walk while striking out three.
“As the game went on, I smoothed things out and things got a lot more crisp,” Kazmir told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. “All those reps have been helping out. Getting a little bit crisper, better delivery, extending myself a little bit more. Getting those reps in, that’s the biggest thing for me.”
Joe Blanton succeeded Kazmir on the mound and went three innings. He allowed five hits, walked none and struck out three while surrendering one earned run. Though he was signed as a reliever, Blanton did start four games last year and spent nine seasons as a Major League starter. However, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reported that Roberts didn’t mention Blanton among the fifth-starter candidates.
More from an eventful Sunday:
- With Lee being optioned to minor league camp, the Dodgers now have 46 players in Major League camp.
- Brandon Beachy has mild tendinitis in his right arm. He will take a few days off. He told Gurnick: “Obviously, I don’t want to take a couple of days off, and it’s a little frustrating, but I’m not worried in the long run. This is just an accumulation of things, and I tried to push through it, and now I have to pull back a bit. Everybody deals with things like that.” Monday will mark two years since he had his second Tommy John Surgery.
- Corey Seager was back on the field Sunday morning and running through drills with Dodger strength and conditioning coach Brandon McDaniel. It’s been nine days since Seager sprained his left knee rounding first base in a game against the Angels.
- Three teenagers saw action in the Camelback Ranch game — 19-year-old Yusniel Diaz, who had an RBI single in the sixth inning, 18-year-old Brendon Davis, who doubled in a run in the seventh and doubled again in the ninth, and 18-year-old Erick Meza, who grounded out in the seventh. Davis’ second double caromed off the wall in left-center field.
- There was a scary moment in the eighth inning in Maryvale when Dodger pitcher Matt West hit Milwaukee’s Rymer Liriano in the face with a pitch. He was on the ground for eight minutes before being stretchered off the field and taken to the hospital. His status was not known as of about an hour after the game.
- Charlie Culberson snapped an 0 for 15 skid with a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Brewers. He also made a beautiful play, bare-handing a feed on a double-play ball and turning two.
- Cuban right-hander Yadier Alvarez hit 99 mph on the radar gun Saturday and impressed in other ways in a two-inning session on a Camelback Ranch minor league field, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. Alvarez, 19, was signed last July and is rated as the Dodgers’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB.com.
- Chone Figgins, who last played a Major League regular season game with the Dodgers in 2014, has announced his retirement. He’ll sign a one-day contract on Monday with the Angels, where he spent the first eight seasons of his 12-year Major League career.