By Jon Weisman
In the meantime …
- The Dodgers have a better starting lineup that matches the best of the Phillies, Twins, Astros, Diamondbacks, Indians, White Sox and Royals combined, determines Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus.
- Mark McGwire told Dylan Hernandez of the Times that season-long consistency and patience are the big keys for Yasiel Puig this year, and added that he hopes to see the Dodger offense strike out fewer times in general.
- FanGraphs ranks the top 200 prospects in baseball, and the Dodgers big three-plus-one of Julio Urias, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Grant Holmes do predictably well in Kiley McDaniel’s report. Chris Anderson and Alex Verdugo earn honorable-mention mentions.
- By one measure, the Dodgers’ have the fourth most valuable farm system in baseball, writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs.
- How might the speculated changes to the MLB strike zone affect Dodger pitchers? Daniel Brim of Dodgers Digest takes a look.
- For the New York Times, Michael Beschloss wrote about how integrating Spring Training was in some ways more challenging and perilous than integrating the Major League regular season.
- Since 2005, the Dodgers are sixth out of 30 teams in appearances on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, according to Baseball Essential (via Deadspin). Remember when Manny Ramirez was leading the Dodgers against the Diamondbacks in 2008? That’s the last time Arizona has been on a ESPN’s national Sunday broadcast. One more tidbit: There have been nine Dodgers-Giants matchups since 2005, compared with 31 Red Sox-Yankees contests.
- Want to ask official MLB historian John Thorn a question? Here’s how.
- Bill Murray’s summer as a minor-league ballplayer is captured in this oral history by Rob Neyer at Fox Sports’ Just a Bit Outside.
- Former ballplayer C.J. Nitkowski explains what really goes on when you sign a minor-league deal with a Spring Training invite, also at Just a Bit Outside.
- Longtime MLB coach Wendell Kim passed away at age 64. Grant Brisbee paid tribute at McCovey Chronicles.
- And here’s one more from Valentine’s Day …
— Ellen Kershaw (@ellenkershaw) February 14, 2015