Dodger Thoughts

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

Month: February 2016 (Page 2 of 3)

In case you missed it: Ryu — and Wood — on recovery path

Ryu s

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

It’s a long season as you know, and the Dodgers can benefit tremendously from the return of Hyun-Jin Ryu, even if he’s not on the active roster Opening Day.

So it’s all good that Ryu had a strong bullpen session today, as Ken Gurnick of MLB.com writes …

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Get tickets for Replica Stadium, Fleece Blanket games with a Mini Plan

5.14.16 Replica Stadium presented by Farmer John

4.27.16 Fleece Blanket presented by LGThe Dodgers have unveiled two more 2016 promotions: the Fleece Blanket (presented by LG) for April 27 against the Marlins, and the Replica Stadium (presented by Farmer John) for May 14 against the Cardinals.

The best way to guarantee your seats to these games is through a 30-game flex plan. Alternatively, the 21-game Collectors Plan includes Opening Day, 10 bobblehead games and 10 Retired Number pins.

Visit dodgers.com/tickets for more information.

[mlbvideo id=”543378483″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

In case you missed it: Maeda in America

Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and catchers workout

By Jon Weisman

Kenta Maeda was the focal point at Camelback Ranch today. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com illustrates …

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Dodgers sign Cuban RHP Yaisel Sierra

MLB.com

MLB.com

By Jon Weisman

Now the Dodgers have a Yaisel to go with their Yasiel.

Yaisel Sierra, a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher from Cuba, has signed a six-year deal with the Dodgers.

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In case you missed it: Kool Kenley

Los Angeles Dodgers first workout for pitchers and catchers

For more images from today, visit the Dodgers Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

Let’s recap the first Saturday of Spring Training …

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In case you missed it: Pitchers and catchers and avocados, oh my

Los Angeles Dodgers reporting day for pitchers and catchers

For more photos from today, visit the Dodgers Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

Hey! It’s that day!

With today’s “pitchers and catchers reporting” day arriving, it’s time to bring back our regular roundup of relevant news on the Dodgers and baseball. Here’s what’s percolating on the Camelback campus …

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu, pictured above with Kenta Maeda, had a 35-pitch bullpen session Thursday. He is expected to pitch in the Cactus League but is not being rushed to be ready for the opening of the regular season, wrote Andy McCullough of the Times in his roundup.
  • Maeda, who met with a gaggle of reporters this morning, has thrown two bullpen sessions already and all is normal, according to Bill Plunkett of the Register.
  • Yasmani Grandal is under no limitations now that his left shoulder has healed from surgery, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
  • Andre Ethier’s jersey is being retired by Arizona State tonight. Ethier and his wife Maggie were both already inducted into the Sun Devil Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
  • Frankie Montas’ stress fracture in rib “was less severe than thoracic outlet syndrome,” notes Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA. Montas broached it with Dodger trainers last month after it persisted, Rizzo said.
  • On a brighter side, Rizzo added that Justin Turner has “hit every checkpoint” in his recovery from microfracture surgery.
  • Trayce Thompson watched his brother Klay at the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, then went to Arizona on Monday, according to Doug Padilla of ESPN(Update: Padilla has more on Grandal here.)
  • Fellow White Sox emigré Micah Johnson needed a few stitches after cutting his hand while slicing an avocado, and will need a few days to heal, reported Plunkett. For his part, Johnson tweeted that he had “the last laugh.”
  • Andrew Friedman has taken to calling Dave Roberts “Doc,” according to Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. For you trivia buffs, the new Doc Roberts was born almost exactly 75 years after “Fiddlin'” Doc Roberts.
  • The Uribear, Juan Uribe, has agreed to a one-year contract with the Indians.
  • Tony Phillips, who seemed perpetually underrated to me, has passed away all too soon at age 56, as chronicled by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • And one more item from Thursday: Brandon McCarthy took Clayton Kershaw to task for misunderstanding the fundamentals of offseason training. But it’s possible there’s been a misunderstanding …

Dodgers’ global profile underscored by new deal with Emirates

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline and Dodger President Stan Kasten, pose with Emirates staff Ben Platt/MLB.com

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, and Dodger president Stan Kasten pose with Emirates staff this morning. (Ben Platt/MLB.com)

By Jon Weisman

It’s a sign of the growing international popularity of baseball in general and the Dodgers in particular that Emirates has become the official airline sponsor of the Dodgers.

In fact, Adrian Gonzalez will be among a contingent of Dodgers visiting Emirates’ home base (or plate) in Dubai at a future date to lead a baseball clinic associated with the local Little League, whose travel teams themselves will be renamed the Dubai Dodgers.

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Vin Scully to call quartet of Spring Training games

SNLA ST sked

VinBy Jon Weisman

Vin Scully is scheduled to call four of the 16 Dodger games SportsNet LA will televise during Spring Training, including all three Freeway Series tilts against the Angels.

The SportsNet LA schedule (shown up top) begins with the Cactus League opener March 3 against the White Sox. All four National League West rivals are featured, including two games against the Giants on March 6 and 25. SportsNet LA will air games on every Saturday and Sunday in March.

New addition Joe Davis makes his Spring Training debut March 19 against the Pale Hose, mixing in with Charley Steiner, Rick Monday, Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra.

Live coverage from Camelback Ranch begins tonight at 7 p.m. with the Spring Training debut of “Access SportsNet: Dodgers,” which will air every weeknight until the regular season, with John Hartung, Alanna Rizzo, Hershiser, Garciaparra, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Ned Colletti on board.

Behind-the-scenes series “Backstage: Dodgers” has its third-season premiere Thursday at 8 p.m.

SportsNet LA, the exclusive 24/7 TV home of the Dodgers, is available on Time Warner Cable, Charter and Bright House Networks. For more information about SportsNet LA or to demand the network from your provider, visit www.sportsnetla.com. You can follow the network on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Ex-Royal Louis Coleman joins bullpen brigade

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Right-handed reliever Louis Coleman has signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers.

The 6-foot-4 Coleman, who turns 30 on Opening Day, is joining his first new organization since being drafted by the Royals in the fifth round in 2009 out of Louisiana State. He made his MLB debut in 2011, striking out 64 in 59 2/3 innings, and two years later had a 0.61 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in 29 2/3 innings.

Though Coleman’s WHIP basically doubled in 2014, and he pitched only three big-league innings in 2015, he did have a 1.69 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 64 innings for Triple-A Omaha last season.

Coleman joins a group of righty relievers on the 40-man roster that includes Pedro Baez, Joe Blanton, Yimi Garcia, Chris Hatcher, Kenley Jansen and Josh Ravin.

The Dodgers placed LSU fan Brandon McCarthy on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Coleman. McCarthy has been expected to complete his recovery from Tommy John surgery by midseason.

Bridges to history: Last links to retired numbers

Reese Fairly

By Jon Weisman

With the Dodgers celebrating their 10 retired numbers in a pin series this year, I was curious who was the last active player to take the field with each of these legends. Here’s what I found:

1 Pee Wee Reese
Ron Fairly, who was 19 when making his debut with the 40-year-old Reese as a teammate on the 1958 “Welcome to Los Angeles” Dodgers, was 40 himself when he played his last big-league game in 1978. Years between Reese’s first game and Fairly’s last: 38

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Hodges, Garvey, Karros … Gonzalez

NLDS GAME FOUR-LOS ANGELES DODGERS VS NEW YORK METS

By Jon Weisman

Andre Ethier is the dean of Dodger position players, but Adrian Gonzalez is about to enter his fifth calendar year as the Dodger first baseman, and it’s showing on the franchise leaderboards for his position.

Gonzalez is essentially the fourth-most prolific first baseman in Dodger history, which isn’t breaking news, but is still impressive for someone who joined the Dodgers after his 30th birthday …

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Minors are major deal for Dodgers’ World Series hopes

Jose De Leon (Rich Crimi/Tulsa Drillers)

Jose De Leon

By Jon Weisman

As the combined raves by MLB.com, ESPN’s Keith Law, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus made the Dodgers’ the consensus No. 1 farm system in baseball, revelry naturally abounded among the online Dodger fanbase. But just as inevitably came the backtalk.

“So what — they still haven’t won a World Series.”

I get that this is sort of the natural response to any piece of good news that isn’t the good news. And I also get that some would trade the current minor-league glory for Cole Hamels or a player to be named earlier.

But if you’re vexed that the Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since “ALF” was primetime’s most watched show on Mondays, then you know what? It’s still time to be happy that the Dodger system is the tops.

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Seven Dodger prospects in ESPN’s top 100

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 6.46.20 AM

By Jon Weisman

ESPN prospect analyst Keith Law ranked the Dodger farm system second in MLB, thanks in no small part to the appearance of seven prospects in his top 100 list that was released today.

As has been their custom, Corey Seager and Julio Urias landed in Law’s top five, with Seager claiming the top spot previously held by Minnesota’s Byron Buxton. They are the only Dodgers in Law’s top 50. However, there are five in the next half-hundred: Alex Verdugo (51), Jose De Leon (60), Grant Holmes (71), Yusniel Diaz (79), the Cuban emigré whose signing hasn’t been officially announced by the Dodgers, and Cody Bellinger (92).

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Dodger mix picks Hicks

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Ex-San Francisco infielder Brandon Hicks has become the 21st player to receive a non-roster invitation to the Dodgers’ big-league Spring Training camp.

After missing the first half of the 2015 season with an injury, Hicks had a .308 on-base percentage and slugged .326 for Triple-A Sacramento last year. Robert Avery of the Pasadena (Texas) Citizen recapped the Houston native’s year, which included this highlight.

… On July 23, playing second base against El Paso, Hicks was involved in a play that River Cat officials say was the greatest play of the entire season.

First baseman Adam Duvall attempted to backhand a hard-hit grounder that careened off his glove and sailed into the air. That’s when Hicks entered the picture. He grabbed the ball bare-handed and on the run, spun and fired to first base where pitcher Brett Bochy was waiting, getting the runner by a split second. …

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Baseball and us: It’s a private conversation

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBiSDoSrEF8/?taken-by=dodgers

By Jon Weisman

It’s warm in Los Angeles. Spring Training warm. Some might even say it’s hot. Regular-season hot.

We’ve still got some El Nino-style rain ahead of us, believe it or not, and the official home opener at Dodger Stadium is nine weeks away. But it’s hard to ignore that you step outside today and it’s feeling like … baseball.

That’s good, right?

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