By Jon Weisman
Ross Stripling has been named the Dodgers’ No. 5 starter and will take the mound April 8 at San Francisco, Dave Roberts announced, adding that Carlos Frias will be optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
We’ll have more on Stripling shortly in a separate post. In the meantime, here are some more news and notes …
- The Dodgers will have a seven-man bullpen to start the season, and Pedro Baez and Yimi Garcia will both be part of it, Roberts said, joining Kenley Jansen, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell and Joe Blanton. Louis Coleman (who is out of options) and Luis Avilan (who can be optioned but would be the second lefty) are in the running for the final spot. Roberts said that while having two lefties is preferable, the Dodgers do have righties who have good splits against lefty batters.
- In Arizona, Howie Kendrick did some light jogging and took swings in the batting cage today, but doesn’t apepar to be close to starting the season on the active roster.
- Yasmani Grandal sounds a bit less likely to avoid the disabled list at the start of the season. Roberts said that in a minor-league game in Arizona, Grandal caught six innings, had five at-bats (with a couple of hits) and “felt good, not great.” Roberts is going to have another conversation with him later today, but there seemed to be some hesitancy about how it would be over the next week.
- Hyun-Jin Ryu “threw a pen a couple of days ago and felt great,” Roberts said, and is scheduled to do it again Sunday or Monday: 45 pitches with fastballs, changes and curveballs. “The velocity is starting to ramp up, and we were encouraged that after he threw the pen, he felt good afterward.” Live hitters would come next on April 8.
- Brandon McCarthy threw a 30-pitch bullpen session with fastballs and changeups. “He’s a guy that we’re trying to hold back, because he feels good,” Roberts said. “He’s back in the ramping up stage (after becoming a father). He’s doing really well.”
- Though healthy, Jose De Leon might not start the season in the Triple-A Oklahoma City rotation. According to Roberts, the Dodgers might delay his season debut to keep him from running up too high an innings count.
- Zach Lee, who will be in the Triple-A rotation, is going to pitch in relief of Alex Wood at Anaheim on Saturday.
- In an interview inspired by this 66-year-old Variety blurb, Vin Scully talked to me about the launch of his broadcasting career. Learn about the importance of a 3-cent stamp.
- Clayton Kershaw talked to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com about a number of topics, including his white whale, the change-up.
- When the Dodgers have their regular-season home opener at Dodger Stadium on April 12, they’ll be the final MLB team to do so this year.