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By Jon Weisman
Notes from a Saturday in the park …
- Dylan Hernandez of the Times and Ken Gurnick of MLB.com have pieces on Carl Crawford’s physical status. From Hernandez:
… Living in Arizona over the winter, Crawford addressed his health problems by spending a significant part of his off-season at the Dodgers’ spring-training complex. Under the supervision of Dodgers trainers, he worked to strengthen his core and back.
Crawford, who was a four-time American League stolen-base champion with the Tampa Bay Rays, intends to become a threat on the basepaths again.
“I really want to run,” he said. “I got gun shy last season because any time I stole a base, I had pain. I know I can steal 25 bases. It’s frustrating when I’m stealing 10 or 11. I do everything else fast. I still run down balls in the outfield, I still get triples, I still go first to third, so it’s frustrating I don’t steal more bases.” …
- Because the Dodger pitchers got their one off day from Spring Training today, Dodger catchers had a precious day to focus on hitting, notes Gurnick. “Being a catcher, sometimes you’re unavailable to get in the quality swings other position players get,” A.J. Ellis said.
- Miguel Rojas discussed the challenges of transitioning from shortstop to second base — keeping Alex Guerrero in mind — with J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News.
- Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles writes about the comfort zone for Cuban Dodgers Yasiel Puig, Alex Guerrero and Onelki Garcia, who locker side-by-side-by-side.
- Aaron Harang, one of the Spring Training starting pitchers with the Dodgers a year ago, has just signed a minor-league deal with Cleveland and will compete for a spot in the Indians’ rotation, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
- Another 1961 Dodger artifact comes from Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven, featuring Walter Alston. Definitely worth the click.
- Mark Mulder, whose Paco Rodriguez-inspired comeback after more than five years away from the majors looked like it might be the story of the year in baseball, saw that hope end when he ruptured his left Achilles’ tendon in an agility drill before his first bullpen session for the Angels, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Times.
I can handle this. But seeing my son in tears when he saw me in a boot and crutches and I told him I wasn’t going to pitch. That was tough.
— Mark Mulder (@markmulder20) February 15, 2014