Results tagged ‘ Luis Cruz ’

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 …


Learn the NRI guys — you might meet at least one again

David Aardsma (58) is one of 18 non-roster invites to Dodger camp. (Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2015)

David Aardsma (58) is one of 18 non-roster invites to Dodger camp. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Cary Osborne

Pay attention to those high jersey numbers at Camelback Ranch. From that bunch, someone will likely help the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have 18 non-roster invites to Spring Training camp this season. Some of them are organization top-10 prospects (like Corey Seager, Chris Anderson and Julio Urias), some of them Major League veterans (like pitchers Erik Bedard, David Huff, Sergio Santos and David Aardsma), some new to the organization who have never made the Major Leagues, like Orioles closer Zach Britton’s big brother Buck and power-hitting Kyle Jensen. One of the other names is shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena, who appeared in 22 games for the Dodgers last season.

If recent history is any indication, at least one of those guys will be on the Dodger Major League squad and making some sort of impact in 2015.

The proof goes beyond what Justin Turner, who was signed last February and turned in one of the greatest seasons ever for a Dodger utilityman. Over the past 10 seasons, at least one non-roster Invite to Spring Training has made some sort of contribution to the Dodgers’ Major League club — to varying degrees of success. So believe that one of the 18 could do the same this season.

Here’s a look back at NRI guys since 2004:


Make your Dodger Stadium Memorial Day plans now

By Jon Weisman

Memorial Day is only a week away, so don’t wait to make your plans to spent the evening at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers are on the road this week, but soon enough, they will open their next homestand with the Cincinnati Reds on May 26, and it occurred to me this game might be worth a special mention.

If you needed more incentive than the above-mentioned Andre Ethier BBQ apron giveaway (free to the first 40,000 ticketed fans) or the chance to see Hyun-Jin Ryu at home for the first time since April, then there’s this: Lined up to pitch in the 5:10 p.m. game for the Reds is arguably the No. 1 contender to try to steal the National League Cy Young Award from Clayton Kershaw, 28-year-old Cincinnati righty Johnny Cueto. In other words, if the Reds rotation holds, Memorial Day will provide a prime time to size up the opposition.

With a 1.25 ERA heading into his Tuesday start at Washington, Cueto will provide a great challenge for the Dodgers. Among other things, with runners on base, opposing hitters are 6 for 60 with six walks and one homer against Cueto this year. He leads the NL with a 0.71 WHIP and is striking out 9.5 batters per nine innings.

The Dodgers topped Cueto the last time they met, on July 3, 2012, when Luis Cruz hit a tiebreaking double in the bottom of the seventh inning and later stole home. Yeah, that’s right.

Last year’s Memorial Day at Dodger Stadium brought one of the best games of the year, with the Dodgers rallying from a 6-1 deficit to top the Angels, 8-7. It was a great way to spend the holiday last year, and I’m looking forward to this year’s game.