By Jon Weisman
Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman chatted with reporters beginning at 5 p.m. about the Hector Olivera and Pablo Fernandez signings (and presumably other Dodger-related matters). What follows is a live-blog of some of his remarks.
- In the near term, we’re going to send (Olivera) to Arizona, get in game shape, work out for a few days and reassess from there. He’ll be there for a week or so, then head to Rancho for a few games … then get him to Oklahoma City and play there for a little while and reassess.
- Having as many as good players as possible not only helps you in constructing your own roster but also allows you the opportunity to have more good players to talk about with other teams. If we’re ever complaining about having too much depth, that’s certainly a good problem to have. … Having a player who can impact the game offensively like Hector can is obviously a good thing.
- We did a thorough medical review and feel good about where he is … he takes care of himself really well. We’ve had him at our academy in the Dominican for a month … seen how he bounces back day after day.
- Versatility on the defensive side – he’ll tell you he’s most comfortable at second, but he’s had no problems moving around the infield. The reports (at second and third) are both good.
- At this point it’s premature to speculate (how fast he’ll impact at the Major Leagues). We’ve seen with guys in the past that it’s hard to miss Spring Training and hit the ground running, but everybody’s different.
- We feel at this point and time offense is at a premium in the game … his bat can have an impact.
- We feel very confident he’s going to come up at some point this year and help us win games.
- His hands play (defensively). … He’s a big physical guy and probably bigger than most people think of when they think of a Major League second baseman, but his hands work really well and his footwork is very good.
- We’re going to stretch (Fernandez) out as a starter. We’ve talked to him about it and he’s excited about it. He’s got a five-pitch mix … and has had really good command throughout his career. (Friedman compared him to Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez.)
- We’re very mindful of how difficult it is (to transition). … We’re going to do everything we can to help both guys navigate through.
- (There might be new information on injured Dodger pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu on Wednesday.)
- (Surgery discussion for Julio Urias) came up at the end of spring. … (goal for us) is doing what’s right by Julio.
- (Concern over Ryu) is similar to what it’s been for a few weeks, that it hasn’t progressed as we hoped. … It’s not a black-and-white issue, but fortunately we have a tremendous doctor in (Neal) ElAttrache, and we’re putting our heads together to determine what makes sense.
- Mentally, I’ve been thinking (Ryu might be lost for season) for a little while, because it’s better to err on that side. … Our mindset has been to treat it as if he’s not (coming back this year), because it’s easier to react the other way.
- Both (Carlos Frias and Mike Bolsinger) have pitched really well. Any time you lose two starters, you’re always mindful of your depth. … We’re never going to be comfortable with our starting pitching depth. From where we’re sitting right now, if we can add an arm, it would certainly be helpful.
That’s the summary of the Friedman interview. Hector Olivera is scheduled to speak to beat writers (through a translator) later this evening.