A look at Zach Lee and his phenomenal stirrup game: pic.twitter.com/VTFjDQ7GvP
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 12, 2014
By Jon Weisman
All that’s great and ugly about Spring Training, chapter whatever …
Zach Lee, looking stirrup-sharp, enters today’s Dodger game against the Diamondbacks in the top of the third inning and retires the first seven batters he faces. Five of the next six reach base, and what looks like a showcase outing turns into apparent mediocrity. But boy, he sure looked good before the roof (or, given the stakes, the pup tent) caved in.
This wasn’t the only classic Spring Training story of the day, which saw the Dodgers lose to Arizona, 9-2. (Ken Gurnick of MLB.com has the game recap.) We also saw and heard tale of multiple players trying to overcome injury.
Zack Greinke made it through two innings of his start today and threw 14 more pitches in the bullpen afterward, but acknowledged that he still has a corner or two left to turn in his recovery from a calf injury, according to Gurnick. A small excerpt:
“I’d thought I’d be fine that day (of the injury), like 100 percent in a day or two,” he said. “It just hasn’t gotten better, it’s a 10 percent pace from what I was expecting. You know it’s there. If I did more than I’m ready to do, I’d be right back where I started. But it’s getting better every day and that’s the key.”
Speaking of revelations: Josh Beckett revealed that he caught his right thumb in a clubhouse door 10 days ago and that it is sprained. Beckett, who threw mostly fastballs while giving up three home runs in his most recent Spring Training outing Sunday, might skip his next start. From Gurnick:
Beckett has had previous problems with the inside ligament of the thumb.
“I come back from thoracic outlet surgery and this happens,” he said in frustration.
Then there’s Matt Kemp. Weird, but in a good way? That seems to be how to interpret Kemp’s evaluation of his first action of any kind in center field this year, in today’s minor-league intrasquad game. Dylan Hernandez of the Times relays the quotes:
“I feel a little weird still being out there, but I’m having a lot of fun,” he said. “I’m excited to be back on the field, just playing. That’s the process. We’re taking our time.”
Kemp was in center field for two innings.
“I’m still trying to get my legs under me,” he said. “I just wanted to feel good. The legs feel a little heavy and tired at times, but that comes with getting back into shape. You can lift as many weights as you want, but nothing prepares for the game speed out there on the baseball field.
All part of another Spring Training day. Only four of them left before the big club leaves Arizona for Australia.
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- The Dodgers’ schedule of minor-league Spring Training games was conveniently posted by Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.
- I know I have no reason to be proud of this tweet — none — but I am.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) March 12, 2014