Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Brett Anderson (Page 2 of 4)

Rehab news glowing for Kershaw & Co.


By Jon Weisman

It was an absolutely lovely day at Dodger Stadium today. Mild warmth. A refreshing breeze.

As the shadows made their way across the field at the 5 o’clock hour, Clayton Kershaw and Brett Anderson emerged from the clubhouse and played catch. And it wasn’t tentative. It was glove-poppin’, “we mean business” catch.

While more Dodgers trickled onto the field for an informal workout tonight, the last night before returning to action with a 10-game road trip that begins Friday at Arizona, Dave Roberts spoke to reporters about the state of several injured players — Kershaw, Anderson, Joc Pederson, Alex Wood, Andre Ethier, Yimi Garcia. And everything was just about as glowing as that magic late-afternoon sunlight.

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Kershaw, Ethier, Anderson quicken recovery progress

San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Orioles at Dodgers, 12:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Scott Van Slyke, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Bud Norris, P

By Jon Weisman

Chronically the last team to count their chickens before they hatch, the Dodgers nevertheless feel upbeat about the latest progress from Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson and Andre Ethier in their injury rehab.

Kershaw and Anderson, each recovering from different back ailments — Anderson’s required surgery in March, Kershaw’s an epidural last week — played catch in left field this morning, “which is exciting and encouraging for all of us,” Dave Roberts said.

No return timetable has been outlined for Kershaw, but Roberts said that the clearance to play catch came ahead of schedule.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu to start Thursday for Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Colorado Rockies

Orioles at Dodgers, 6:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Will Venable, LF
Julio Urías, P

By Jon Weisman

Fresh off the successful return of Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu will try to make it 2 for 2 when he starts for the Dodgers on Thursday against San Diego.

Dave Roberts confirmed the news to reporters before tonight’s game.

Ryu has been sidelined even longer than McCarthy. His last start for Los Angeles came in Game 3 of the 2014 National League Division Series, when he held St. Louis to one run in six innings of a 3-1 loss.

That itself had been Ryu’s first appearance since September 12, 2014, when he exited after allowing four runs in the first inning at San Francisco.

Ryu started for the Dodgers in Spring Training 2015 but was on the disabled list when the regular season started, eventually having shoulder surgery in May, a little more than 13 months ago.

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In case you missed it: Lighting up the scoreboard

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By Jon Weisman

Today, when Dave Roberts had to make his first mid-inning visit to the mound as Dodger manager, to relieve starter Scott Kazmir with two out in the second inning against the Angels, maybe it seemed like a big deal.

It wasn’t.

Kazmir’s five runs allowed were matched by Jeff Weaver of the Angels, only the start of what became a 13-13 tie in Tempe — recapped at

“I honestly think I’m on the right path,” Kazmir said. “If you look at the game and not the box score, it tells a different story.”

But really, this was a day for the offense.

Joc Pederson, Austin Barnes (who had three hits) and Scott Van Slyke homered for the 4-1-2 Dodgers, who have increased their Spring Training OPS to a rather ridiculous .916.

The player who made the biggest impression today was 20-year-old first baseman Cody Bellinger, the theoretical heir to Adrian Gonzalez — if he can wait that long. Bellinger, who is also capable of playing outfield, went 3 for 3 and is impressing Roberts.

“The game doesn’t speed up on him,” Roberts told Ken Gurnick in this feature for “He looks comfortable out there. The more you see, the more you like.”

What else?

  • Encouraging news on the injury front from Gurnick: Howie Kendrick and Alex Guerrero participated in fielding and hitting drills, Hyun-Jin Ryu threw for the third consecutive day, Justin Turner again played in a minor-league game and Julio Urias had a light bullpen session ahead of his anticipated Cactus League debut Friday.
  • Brett Anderson spoke at length to Gurnick about beginning his latest rehab from surgery to repair a bulging disc.
  • Bill Plunkett of the Register looks at the different ways Roberts tries to connect with his players.
  • Kenta Maeda, who pitches Thursday for the Dodgers, talked to Doug Padilla of about what it would mean if he were able to face off against the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka when the Dodgers go to the Bronx in September.
  • Skip Schumaker, who had twin .332 on-base and slugging percentages for the Dodgers in 2014, has retired at age 36, ending an 11-year MLB career.

Dodgers discuss direction after Anderson injury


By Jon Weisman

In the hours since Brett Anderson’s second disc injury in three years was announced, it was easy to say how easy this was to predict.

But according to Dodger general manager Farhan Zaidi, the people who actually do this kind of prediction said it was highly unlikely.

“Going through the diagnosis yesterday, we were told the chance of recurrence of something like this was pretty low, something around 10 percent of the time,” Zaidi said. “It’s obviously an unfortunate thing to happen. He had a healthy season last year, (and) he came in this year in great shape, was doing a lot of preventative stuff to keep something like this from happening.

“In (asking) the doctors, ‘Was this a single traumatic thing, was it something that happened over time?’ — it really could be either. But it was obviously a very quick thing from throwing live BP and looking great, to feeling something, to having some tests done and realizing that he needed surgery. … The fortunate part of it is we’re still hopeful we see him at some point this season, most likely in the second half. But just to get back, the actuarial chances of recurrence are really low in this case, so it was just a bit of bad luck.”

Speaking shortly after striking out two in his two-inning Spring Training debut today, Clayton Kershaw didn’t downplay the significance of what Anderson’s injury meant.

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Surgery for bulging disc sidelines Brett Anderson

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Florida Marlns

By Jon Weisman

Brett Anderson is expected to miss three to five months of action because of a bulging disc in his back, Dave Roberts said today.

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In case you missed it: Injured pitchers look to regroup

By Jon Weisman

Was it the Dodger Insider jinx for Brett Anderson?

Anderson was scheduled for tests on his lower back today, after tweaking it at the end of live batting practice Tuesday (the day he was profiled here), according to Ken Gurnick of

At least temporarily, Anderson becomes one of two 28-year-old lefties on the Dodger sidelines. Hyun-Jin Ryu is taking some extra time between bullpen sessions, reports Gurnick.

“There’s definitely no pain,” Ryu said. “A little typical soreness. I’m very happy and satisfied with the timetable.”

Meanwhile, the Dodgers said that right-hander Josh Ravin is expected to return in eight to 12 weeks following Tuesday’s surgery on his broken left radius.

What else can I tell you?

Andre Ethier slides into third safely during today's situational game.

Andre Ethier slides into third safely during today’s situational game.

  • In a prelude to Thursday’s Cactus League opener, the Dodgers played a situational game in which they fielded two teams and played out all kinds of different batting and fielding scenarios. If you’re curious, I streamed some video of the first inning on Periscope.
  • Clayton Kershaw is expected to go two innings in Thursday’s Spring Training debut, unless he has a particularly long first inning, Dave Roberts said.
  • Dodger hitting coach Turner Ward spoke to Gurnick about Joc Pederson — and to Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt about Ward.
  • The balancing act that is Julio Urias’ innings load as he develops into a Major Leaguer is examined by Dylan Hernandez of the Times.
  • Earlier this week, Hernandez spoke to Kershaw, among others, about the state of Yasiel Puig.
  • The Dodgers lead the Major Leagues in players projected to be worth at least one win above replacement this year, according to Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs.

Normal spring most welcome for Brett Anderson

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Brett Anderson sat in the chair in front of his locker this morning, his beard a bit longer than it was last year, his outlook a bit more relaxed.

Anderson won’t deny he was tiring by the end of 2015. His 3.69 ERA in a career-high 180 1/3 innings was a physical triumph for a pitcher who had been limited by injuries to 123 innings over the previous three seasons. But that came with a ton of energy dedicated to just making it to the finish line.

Health, or the lack thereof, has been the prologue to practically every Brett Anderson story for years. The big ones — Tommy John surgery and a bulging disc in his back — made the most ambles into the preamble. It was always something, but maybe that’s about to change.

Following last year’s success, Anderson was able to dedicate his winter more to prehab than rehab. To taking a step forward, as opposed to just hanging on.

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In case you missed it: Sandy salute

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

By Jon Weisman

Though the legendary Sandy Koufax no longer has a formal role with the Dodgers, as Ken Gurnick of writes, that doesn’t mean he can’t stop by Camelback Ranch for a nice hello.

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Slick-fielding (OK, not really) Brett Anderson plans to build off 2015

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Though he is typically self-deprecating (if not self-punishing) about his athleticism off the mound, Brett Anderson said today that Zack Greinke told him he ranked third defensively “according to some stat — I don’t know which one, Brooks Baseball or Fangraphs or whatever.”

The stat, it appears, is stolen base runs saved: “the pitcher’s contributions to controlling the running game.” Or maybe it was dives like this one (click to enlarge) at Texas in June that elevated his defensive stature. Whatever the stat was, Anderson said he wanted it on his headstone.

Slick Brett

More to the point: A month after finishing his busiest and healthiest season of the decade, the left-hander is far from having burial rites performed on his career.

Speaking to reporters today for the first time since agreeing to the Dodgers’ qualifying offer for 2016, Anderson said he is ahead of schedule in terms of his preparation for next season.

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Brett Anderson returning to Dodgers in 2016

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Brett Anderson will be back in a Dodger uniform next season after accepting the team’s one-year qualifying offer.

Zack Greinke and Howie Kendrick rejected their qualifying offers to pursue multi-year deals. Each could sign with any team, including the Dodgers.

Anderson would have been the first player under the current collective bargaining agreement to accept a qualifying offer, but he was beaten by a few hours by Houston’s Colby Rasmus and Baltimore’s Matt Wieters, reportedly.

Anderson, who turns 28 just before Spring Training next year, set a career high in innings (180 1/3) in 2015 and had his best season since 2009, with a 3.69 ERA, a career-high 18 quality starts and an MLB-leading 66.3 percent groundball rate.

With Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and (if he returns from shoulder surgery) Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers could have as many as four southpaws in their starting rotation at a given time next season.

Dodgers extend qualifying offers to Greinke, Anderson, Kendrick

By Jon Weisman

Zack Greinke, Brett Anderson and Howie Kendrick received from the Dodgers one-year qualifying offers, the meaning of which is explained by Ken Gurnick of

The players — who are free to sign with other clubs beginning Friday at 9:01 p.m. PT — have until Nov. 13 to accept the offer, binding them to the club for only the 2016 season at a salary of $15.8 million. No player has accepted a qualifying offer since it was implemented as part of the free-agency system in 2011.

If the players reject the offer and sign with another club, the Dodgers would receive a compensation draft pick after the first round. The players still can re-sign with the Dodgers.

In addition, the Dodgers announced that outfielders Chris Heisey and Justin Ruggiano have elected to become free agents, and that the team has declined the club options on Bronson Arroyo, Joel Peralta and Chase Utley.

Two out of three ain’t good for Dodgers

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By Jon Weisman

Curtis Granderson came up to bat against Brett Anderson in the bottom of the second inning. The Dodgers led, 3-1. Two were out.

Rarely has that last sentence meant so little and so much.

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Kershaw to start NLDS Game 1, followed by Greinke and Anderson

Los Angeles Dodgers work out

Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Mets on Friday, the Dodgers have announced, followed by Zack Greinke in Game 2 on Saturday and Brett Anderson in Game 3 at New York on Monday.

Kershaw is scheduled to face Jacob deGrom, with Greinke going against Noah Syndergaard and Anderson against Matt Harvey.

Much is known about Kershaw and Greinke, but Anderson is not a newcomer to the playoffs either. He will be making his third postseason appearance and second postseason start. In Game 3 of the 2012 NLDS, Anderson pitched six shutout innings for Oakland against Detroit. In 2015, Anderson had a 3.07 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 15 road starts.

— Jon Weisman

Dodgers finish roadwork on winning note in San Francisco

BA by soohoo

By Jon Weisman

For seven innings, the Dodgers were a great sight for fans who might be concerned about how healthy and sharp the team is heading into the playoffs.

For the final two innings, it was a test of how well the Dodgers could hold up at crunch time.

On his game and backed by superb defense, Brett Anderson pitched seven innings of shutout ball, before being charged with two runs in the eighth despite not allowing a ball out of the infield.

Nevertheless, Kenley Jansen came on in the ninth to preserve a 3-2 Dodger win in their 2015 finale against the rival San Francisco Giants.

The victory gave the Dodgers an 89-70 record, the same as the New York Mets, with three games remaining. If the Dodgers finish a game ahead of the Mets, Los Angeles will have home-field advantage in their National League Division Series. (If not, life will go on.)

This weekend, the Dodgers host the Padres, while the Washington Nationals travel to a rainy New York, which is readying for Hurricane Joaquin. A rainout is a definite possibility for the Mets this weekend, which conceivably could force them to play a doubleheader or on Monday if home field at stake.

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Back in San Francisco, today’s game was a full-on Dodger highlight reel, with Corey Seager, Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley all made difficult, ranging plays for outs.

Most stunning, perhaps, was Utley. In only his third career start at third base, the 36-year-old twice charged in to barehand balls and throw to Adrian Gonzalez, who was reaching and lunging like a human backscratcher.

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Though he made an eighth-inning throwing error, Kendrick also singled and doubled in his best all-around game since returning from the disabled list. His third-inning single was the last of the 2,957 career hits off retiring Giants pitcher Tim Hudson, who then left the field to a heartwarming ovation. Kendrick drove in Anderson, who scored the first run of his career.

More importantly for Anderson, he reached a career high in starts (31) and innings (180 1/3) for a season.

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Andre Ethier tripled for the second time in this series and the seventh time in 2015, tying a career high set back in 2006 when he was a rookie.

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