Archive for the ‘ Spring Training ’ Category

Comparing Dodgers-Giants remaining schedules

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers at Phillies, 4:05 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Josh Reddick, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Scott Kazmir, P

By Jon Weisman

In the words of “Evita,” “So what happens now?”

The flip side of the Dodgers’ 97-day climb from eight games out to first place in the National League West is their tenuous hold on the spot.

The Giants scored twice in the first inning of their game this afternoon against Pittsburgh and twice again in the third, putting them on track to pull back within a virtual tie with the Dodgers by the time Chase Utley steps up to bat for the first time tonight.

Update: Pittsburgh came back with six runs in the fifth inning and held on for a 6-5 victory, putting the Dodgers up by a game in the division heading into this evening.

If there’s an Olympic event that describes the remaining NL West pennant race, maybe it’s the 400-meter hurdles — two rivals running alongside each other, with their own individual roadblocks to surpass, but ultimately boiling down to a straight-up duel.

The morning of August 23, San Francisco and Los Angeles will each have 38 games remaining. Remarkably, nine of them — nearly 25 percent — will be against each other.

Six of those will be in Los Angeles, although the advantage for the first might be with the Giants, who will have an off day August 22 to make the short trip from the Bay Area, while the Dodgers can’t head home until after they finish a 9:35 a.m. PT game three time zones away in Cincinnati.

When you compare and contrast the remaining schedules for each team, you find the similarities are more pronounced than the differences …

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Pretend time is over

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers at Angels, 6:05 p.m.
Carl Crawford, LF
Chase Utley, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, DH
Yasiel Puig, RF
Corey Seager, SS
Joc Pederson, CF
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Austin Barnes, C
(Alex Wood, P)

By Jon Weisman

Dave Roberts told reporters this afternoon that he expects the Dodgers to announce their Opening Day 25-man roster after tonight’s exhibition season finale.

That roster for Monday’s opener doesn’t figure to include Yasmani Grandal or Howie Kendrick, both of whom seem destined for the disabled list, with activation on or before the Dodgers’ home debut April 12.

One interesting tibdit: Austin Barnes, who can back up at second and third base as well as catcher, might stay with the team even after Grandal is activated, Roberts said.

Maeda begins his L.A. story; Grandal not ready to return

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By Cary Osborne

Kenta Maeda’s Dodger Stadium debut was brief in that it was four innings. But the four planned innings Friday night against the Angels were telling to Maeda, Dodger manager Dave Roberts and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.

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Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia clinch spots on 25-man roster

Yimi Garcia and Pedro Baez in October 2015. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Yimi Garcia and Pedro Baez in October 2015. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Angels at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, 2B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Carl Crawford, LF
A.J. Ellis, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Corey Seager, SS
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

Ross Stripling has been named the Dodgers’ No. 5 starter and will take the mound April 8 at San Francisco, Dave Roberts announced, adding that Carlos Frias will be optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

We’ll have more on Stripling shortly in a separate post. In the meantime, here are some more news and notes …

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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In case you missed it: Dodgers option Liberatore, hone in on bullpen

Adam Liberatore has struck out 11 in nine Cactus League innings this year.

Adam Liberatore has struck out 11 in nine Cactus League innings this year.

Dodgers at Padres, 1:10 p.m.
Carl Crawford, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Chase Utley, 2B
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Joc Pederson, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Ross Stripling, P

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers are down to two left-handers in their Major League bullpen after optioning Adam Liberatore to the minors following the team’s 5-4 victory Monday over Texas.

The question now is, will they go down to one?

Since we last checked in on the bullpen, it has been whittled in predictable fashion, leaving the following:

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After 19 MLB seasons, Jamey Wright retires

Love this guy!

A post shared by Jamey Wright (@thejameywright) on

Rangers at Dodgers 7:05 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Austin Barnes, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Charlie Culberson, 2B
Alex Wood, P

By Jon Weisman

If it was a longshot for Jamey Wright to make a comeback with the Dodgers at age 41, what a sweet longshot it was.

Wright, who allowed 16 baserunners in 6 2/3 Cactus League innings, announced today that he was retiring from baseball, after 19 Major league seasons and nearly 23 years after signing his first professional contract. He had a chance to say goodbye to the sport with his eyes wide open.

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