Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Month: February 2015 (Page 2 of 4)

In case you missed it: Post-Oscars package

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

For more photos from today, visit LA Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

Starting off, our best wishes go to Dodger assistant pitching coach Ken Howell, who is missing Spring Training because of ongoing health issues, as Ken Gurnick of MLB.com writes. Howell did text Gurnick that he is “doing much better.”

Here’s a quick look at today’s notes …

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In case you missed it: Juan Uribe in the house

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

For more images from today, visit LA Photog Blog

By Jon Weisman

Well, now that Uribear is here, the party can really start …

  • Zack Greinke had a planned lubricating injection in his right elbow. Greinke, who has already thrown five bullpen sessions, had the procedure done as a precaution, as Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
  • Today’s health log also includes new reliever Joel Peralta, who had right shoulder discomfort in a bullpen session two weeks ago, Gurnick notes, but was checked out by a doctor plans to resume playing catch Sunday.
  • In addition, Don Mattingly said today that non-roster submariner Ben Rowen, recovering from thoracic surgery, is on a reduced workload.
  • Brandon Beachy and Farhan Zaidi spoke to reporters today about the latter signing the former. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has quotes, including this:

    “We’re going to be conservative with it because it’s his second one and we have an investment in him not just for 2015 but 2016 as well,” Zaidi said. “We’re hoping he’ll be ready to go midseason, All-Star break, in that range, but that’s just a guess. His timeline will be determined by how well he progresses.”

  • Mattingly told reporters today that he doesn’t expect to see Julio Urias pitch for the Major League club in 2015.
  • The Dodgers have the No. 1 lineup in baseball, according to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, and the No. 3 pitching staff.
  • Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson both review analytics but exploit them in different ways, writes J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News.
  • It’s Spring Training, but McCarthy is in midseason Twitter form.

Dodgers sign Brandon Beachy to one-year deal

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By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers have added some established pitching depth for down the road by signing former Braves righty Brandon Beachy to a one-year contract with a club option for 2016.

Beachy, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, won’t be active when the season starts — just like Chris Withrow, who has been moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Beachy on the 40-man roster. But at age 28, Beachy is a strong comeback candidate, having posted a 3.23 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 1.13 WHIP and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings in his 267 2/3-inning MLB career.

In 2011, Beachy had 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings, the fourth-best mark ever for a rookie starting pitcher.

Beachy had Tommy John surgery on June 21, 2012 and after five starts in 2013 (the last four in August), repeated the procedure on March 21, 2014. He’ll wear No. 37 with the Dodgers.

Beachy joins Joe Wieland, Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias, Erik Bedard, Zach Lee, Chris Anderson and Chris Reed among those who could take a turn in the Dodger starting rotation sometime this season.

Julio Urias: El Prodigio

Urias feature

Here’s a sneak preview from the March edition of Dodger Insider magazine — Cary Osborne’s feature on Julio Urias and the influence of Urias’ father. Click the image above to enlarge.

The new issue of Dodger Insider will be on sale at Camelback Ranch and Dodger Stadium beginning March 4. Subscription orders will be in the mail that week. You can subscribe to Dodger Insider at dodgers.com/magazine. Subscription orders received from February 16-March 12, 2015 will begin with the April issue.

— Jon Weisman

In case you missed it: Kick in the pants edition

Los Angeles Dodgers first workout for pitchers and catchers

For more photos from today, visit LA Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

Let’s see what’s underfoot …

  • Clayton Kershaw feels good but was very self-judgmental after his first bullpen session at Camelback, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
  • J.P. Howell and Joel Peralta are in their third city as teammates, writes Gurnick. (Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has more.)
  • Early arrival Yasiel Puig is the subject of this feature by MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince, who writes that “this morning, he was taking hacks off the pitching machine with a slightly different mechanical intention, trying not to wrap the bat over his head as much in his stance and keeping his hands just a tad farther from his right shoulder.”
  • Here’s how Corey Seager is out to make a good first impression, according to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles.
  • Dan Haren officially reported to Spring Training for the Marlins, as this Associated Press story indicates.
  • David Schoenfield of ESPN.com’s Sweet Spot looks at some of the key non-roster invitees of the National League West.
  • Dick Young’s February 1957 story on the Dodgers’ purchase of Wrigley Field in Los Angeles was reprinted today by the New York Daily News.
  • Here’s a video clip from Thursday of Andrew Friedman and Don Mattingly discussing the Dodgers’ bullpen situation, courtesy of SportsNet LA.

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And more from social media …

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Great doubleheader set for Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic on March 8

CBBy Jon Weisman

The renamed Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic will take place March 8, featuring 2013 College World Series champion UCLA against USC at 3:30 p.m., preceded by 2014 titlist Vanderbilt against TCU at 11:45 a.m.

From today’s announcement:

Tickets priced at $25 for Dugout Club seats, $20 for Baseline Club seats and $10 for Field level seats are available at dodgers.com/classic, uclabruins.com and gettrojantix.com. Tickets for USC and UCLA students and children under 14 are $5 and also are available in advance only at the UCLA and USC box offices or at Dodger Stadium on the day of the event. Parking is $10 and is available only at the gate. Parking and stadium gates will open at 11:30 a.m.

In case you missed it: Let’s blog two

Los Angeles Dodgers on reporting day for pitchers and catchers

For more photos from today, visit LA Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

On the first official day of Spring Training, there’s enough material for two batches of ICYMI — thanks in part to the dual, shirt-dazzling presence of Andrew Friedman and Don Mattingly. Let the bullet points begin …

  • New Dodger starting pitcher Brett Anderson has tested his surgically repaired lower back through several bullpen sessions and so far, so good, reports MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, who adds that “Anderson said he might be on a slightly modified workload early in camp, but his goal is to train at the same pace as the other starting pitchers.”
  • Per Gurnick, “Hyun Jin-Ryu said on Thursday that he’s in better shape to throw than he was his first two springs with the Dodgers, having already thrown more bullpen sessions in an attempt to avoid the shoulder problems that plagued him last year.”
  • Clayton Kershaw juxtaposed his regular-season success with his postseason disappointment, reports Gurnick.
  • More on Kershaw comes from Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles, including this note on fatherhood.

    … “I feel like I’m a decent dad at this point. It was tough to leave them, obviously, but Ellen’s a champ. She can handle it,” Kershaw said. “I’ve definitely changed some diapers and I’ve gotten up. I mean, there’s only so much you can do, but I’ve offered some moral support.” …

  • Saxon also quotes Friedman on the bullpen situation:

    … “Right now, the guys we’ve had some trade discussions about, the guys that are freely available, we’re going to continue to try to sift through it and figure out what actually makes sense as opposed to a reactionary move that may look good in the moment,” Friedman said. …

  • A.J. Ellis told J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News that he worked with a coach during the offseason on trying to improve his pitch framing, which he takes seriously.

    … “It’s definitely real,” Ellis said. “I think it’s something that people are giving a lot more credence to. People are looking at it. Catching is such a hard position to evaluate because there’s so many intangibles that you can’t put a measurement on.

    “People love lists, and this is one way you can see a list of rankings and make judgments on who belongs where. There’s no stat right now for a catcher’s value in calling a game.” …

  • This quote from Chris Hatcher is part of Eric Stephen’s notebook at True Blue L.A.:

    …”First and foremost, I just want to make the team. Second of all, just to be ready when they call my name,” Hatcher said. “They haven’t really expressed anything to me, and I’m not expecting [to close]. I’m just preparing to be ready to take the ball.”‘ …

  • Longtime Dodger fans remember Ron Cey’s incomparable single, “Third Base Bag.” Cey talks to Dan Epstein about it at Fox Sports’ Just a Bit Outside.

In case you missed it: Welcome to Spring Training edition

By Jon Weisman

So I looked outside because they said pitchers and catchers were reporting to Spring Training today, but no one was on the field at Dodger Stadium. And then someone said, “Maybe they’re in Arizona, at Camelback Ranch.” And I said, “You know, you’re probably right. That makes sense.”

Well, maybe that’s not exactly how it went. But I do wish they were here, or I was there. The good news is, I’ll be there in less than a week. So I told them not to wait for me to start their workouts.

Now, what’s happening on this fine morning …

  • Among the other position players who have reported ahead of their February 26 deadline are Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Scott Schebler.
  • Senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes gave a 12-minute interview to David Vassegh of AM 570 KLAC. Here’s what he had to say about the Dodger bullpen in the wake of Kenley Jansen’s foot surgery:

    “I think it’s something we’ll talk about with Don Mattingly and Rick Honeycutt,” Byrnes said. “Sometimes, the players will dictate what roles they need to be in, and I’ve certainly been around a few teams and seasons where we probably didn’t know until the end of March who was going to be our closer. Once someone locks it down, they can sometimes get on a roll. I think we’ll keep talking about it — we might just be patient and see how guys are doing, we might look external — but I think we’re gonna be open-minded in terms of how and when we try to solidify the back end.”

  • Why is Julio Urias so awesome? Wilson Karaman answers the question at Minor League Ball.
  • In November, we reported how close the Dodgers came to being known as the Kings. At Radom Thoughts, Todd Radom writes about how close they came to being nicknamed the Canaries.
  • Former Dodger infielder Lenny Harris has been named assistant hitting coach for the Marlins, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com (via Hardball Talk).

And more from social media …

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David Aardsma officially joins Dodgers

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By Jon Weisman

Righty reliever David Aardsma has officially signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers, becoming the 19th non-roster invite to Spring Training at Camelback Ranch, where pitchers and catchers are being welcomed today.

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What’s new at Camelback Ranch for 2015

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By Jon Weisman

A host of new enhancements are being unveiled at the Dodgers’ Spring Training home at Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

Dodger senior vice president of planning and development Janet Marie Smith and her team (including Younts Design) paved the way for the new amenities and attractions, which will be on view at the Dodgers’ Major League practice fields at Camelback. Here’s an overview:

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Kenley Jansen expected to miss 8-12 weeks after foot surgery

Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

In the “Better now than in six months” category comes the following announcement from the Dodgers’ public relations department:

This morning at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Dodger pitcher Kenley Jansen underwent surgery to remove a growth from a bone in his left foot. This was discovered when Kenley reported discomfort while running last week. A subsequent X-Ray, MRI and CT scan showed the problem in the 5th metatarsal of his left foot.  The surgery was performed by Drs. Earl Brien and David Thordarson under the direction of Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Jansen will be on crutches for about 10 days and then a boot for 3-4 weeks. How he progresses during the rehab process will determine his return to competition, but it is expected to be approximately 8-12 weeks.

If Jansen were to return in 10 weeks, that would put him back in action in the last week of April.

With Jansen sidelined, the Dodgers’ Opening Day bullpen will have no more than three relievers that were in the 2014 Opening Day bullpen. J.P. Howell, Brandon League and Paco Rodriguez are the only other current members of the 40-man roster that were in the bullpen when the 2014 season began.

The 27-year-old Jansen allowed 74 baserunners in 65 1/3 innings while striking out 101 in 2014.  In 287 2/3 career innings, Jansen has allowed 287 baserunners while striking out 448.

Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation donated more than $1 million in 2014

Maggie And Andre Ethier Learning Center

By Jon Weisman

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation donated more than $1 million in 2014 — an 82 percent increase from 2013 — to more than 50 nonprofit organizations.

Organizations receiving grants served more than 800,000 youth and families in need throughout the greater Los Angeles region. The average grant size awarded was $20,000, with grants typically ranging between $500 and $15,000.

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Manny Mota has upbeat report on Pedro Guerrero

Manny Mota and Pedro Guerrero before Old-Timers Day at Dodger Stadium in June 2013. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Manny Mota and Pedro Guerrero before Old-Timers Day at Dodger Stadium in June 2013. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Manny Mota called from the Dominican Republic to say that he saw Pedro Guerrero, who is recovering from minor bleeding in the brain, at the hospital today for a 10-minute visit.

“Pedro’s doing fine, doing much better,” Mota said. “He’s very alert. He sounds good; he’s in a good mood.”

Mota said that Guerrero’s doctor has told him he should be ready to go home in about two or three days. Guerrero also said thanks for all the attention and concern people have had on his behalf.

In case you missed it: Two days until pitchers and catchers

http://instagram.com/p/zED0aXrEJw/?modal=true
 
By Jon Weisman

Pitchers and catchers, we’ll be saying hello to you at Camelback Ranch inside of 48 hours. Hope you packed as well as we did.

In the meantime …

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Campaign celebrates MVPs Trout and Kershaw

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Dual MVP listBy Jon Weisman

Over at the corner of Highland and Wilshire, there’s a new billboard promoting the unprecedented Freeway Series matchup between local Most Valuable Players — the Angels’ Mike Trout and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.

Last year marked the 11th time in the 83-year history of the Baseball Writers Association of America MVP awards, and first time in 12 years, that players from the same market captured their league MVP honors. It has never before happened in Southern California.

Mike Trout hit an infield single, doubled and struck out looking against Clayton Kershaw on August 5 at Dodger Stadium. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Mike Trout hit an infield single, doubled and struck out looking against Clayton Kershaw on August 5 at Dodger Stadium. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

The last time the Dodgers were involved in such a duet was in 1956, with Don Newcombe and Mickey Mantle. Twice, in 1951 and 1955, Roy Campanella and Yogi Berra won MVP awards in the same year. The first time it happened with a Dodger was in 1941, when Dolph Camilli became an MVP alongside Joe DiMaggio.

In the six weeks leading up to the Freeway Series, the Angels and Dodgers will be in a little bit of a contest on social media in determining the area’s MVMVP (Most Valuable MVP). Dodger fans can show their support by tweeting “#MVPKersh.”

While the two teams played four games against each other in last year’s regular season, in 2015 they’ll square off for six. The Dodgers will host the Angels July 31-August 2 and will play at Anaheim September 7-9.

In honor of the Trout-Kershaw Confluence, I’ve created my own signage. Here it is …

Burma-Shave CKMT3

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