By Jon Weisman
In addition to discussing Don Mattingly and Yasiel Puig, Ned Colletti touched upon several other aspects of the Dodgers in his conversation with reporters today.
- Colletti’s priorities now for 2014 are to fine-tune the club, including another infielder off the bench that would give the club more versatility, and making sure the team is healthy. “I talk to our medical people every other day to see where we are at,” he said.
- Miguel Rojas will get “a good look” during Spring Training for playing time at second base, thanks to his defensive wizardry. Rojas had a .303 on-base percentage and .307 slugging with Double-A Chattanooga last year, but Colletti calls him an “excellent defensive player.”
- Alexander Guerrero is still leading the pack of contenders at second base, but Colletti said “we still have questions.” The Dodgers are taking a conservative approach with Guerrero and the hamstring issues he dealt with this winter.
- Caution is also the byword with Matt Kemp, but the outfielder has had his walking boot off for the better part of four weeks now and is beginning to hit.
- Josh Beckett should be ready to go for Spring Training, but Scott Elbert and Chad Billingsley remain targeted for midseason. Elbert could come sooner than Billingsley, thanks to being a reliever.
- Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramirez have generated nothing but positive medical reports. No lingering issues.
- Colletti is eager to see what Rule 5 draft-day acquisition Seth Rosin can bring. “Again, some of what we do is to continue to build the depth you need for a season.”
- Preliminary conversations with the agent of Japanese pitching star Masahiro Tanaka have taken place. Colletti described it as a “feeling-out process.”
- Infielder-turned-reliever Pedro Baez, essentially following the path of Kenley Jansen, “still has some things he’s got to learn, but he’s a very interesting talent.”