Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Juan Uribe (Page 1 of 5)

Why MLB players don’t bunt against the shift

The field view when Max Muncy came to bat Monday in the fifth inning of NLDS Game 4 at Atlanta.

You’re a person looking at an empty field, or to be more specific, an empty left side of a major-league baseball field.

You could be a major-league hitter in a major-league baseball game, or you could be a fan looking at a major-league hitter at a major-league baseball game, or you could be a member of the media, perhaps a former major-league baseball player, perhaps named John Smoltz, looking at a major-league baseball game.

As you gaze at the pitcher, the area to the right side of second base is filled with defenders. The area to the left side of second base is bare, or nearly so.

Why, you might ask, shouldn’t one bunt to that left side?

Or why, you might instead ask, for the love of all that is holy, don’t you bunt to that expletive deleted left side?

Here’s why.

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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 …

Unpacking the Uribe-Withrow-Callaspo-Thomas-Jaime-Stults trade (see, that’s a lot to unpack right there)

For photos from Tuesday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Justin Turner, 3B
Alex Guerrero, LF
Chris Heisey, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Zack Greinke, P

By Jon Weisman

As unusual as the past 36 hours have been, nothing quite brought it home more sharply than seeing Juan Uribe in Atlanta Braves gear at Dodger Stadium, so soon after he had worn Dodger whites for the final time.

Gazing upon Matt Kemp as a Padre on Opening Day took an adjustment and a half, but at least we had most of an offseason to prepare.

But baseball, the game without a clock, ticks on — and everyone moves forward, ready or not. Here is a bullet-point summary of this late afternoon’s news.

  • According to Don Mattingly, Uribe had initiated discussions about his decreased playing time, and Andrew Friedman said that Uribe’s agent told him that Uribe would welcome a trade to a team that would offer more playing time. It wasn’t a literal trade demand, but more an indication of where Uribe’s mind was at.
  • Similarly, Alberto Callaspo balked at the trade at first because he was concerned that his at-bats would go down, according to Friedman, but his concerns were assuaged. It has been reported elsewhere that the Braves paid Callaspo an additional sum to agree to the trade.
  • Friedman thinks the switch-hitting Callaspo can help the Dodgers as a left-handed bat off the bench (with Andre Ethier starting, the Dodgers often don’t have a lefty position player in reserve at all). Callaspo’s positional versatility is also a better fit for the Dodger bench than Uribe would offer, according to Friedman.
  • Chris Withrow was admired enough by Friedman to be a trade target while Friedman was with the Rays, but hopes of what Withrow might provide in 2016 were sacrificed in order to add pitching depth for this year.
  • Left-handed Ian Thomas will be stretched out at Oklahoma City to see if he might become a starter (not coincidentally, a recent Dodger acquisition, Eric Surkamp, is getting the same treatment as a starter for Oklahoma City tonight.) Relief pitching is a fallback for Thomas.
  • Righty reliever Juan Jaime “misses bats,” Friedman said, and so the Dodgers will attack his control problems at in extended Spring Training at Camelback Ranch to see what develops.
  • Chris Heisey was called up in no small part because two Dodger outfielders, Scott Van Slyke and Kiké Hernandez, are not 100 percent healthy.
  • The Dodgers hope that the two pitchers designated for assignment today, Sergio Santos and Eric Stults, will clear waivers and remain in the organization, but whether they clear remains to be seen.
  • Brandon Beachy threw three simulated innings today, ahead of his next steps — first games at Camelback, and hopefully the start of a minor-league rehab assignment in June.
  • For their doubleheader Tuesday at Colorado, the Dodgers get a 26th-man roster exemption. Joe Wieland is lined up in the Triple-A rotation if the Dodgers want him, but they have not announced how they will use the extra spot.

Amid farewell to Chris Withrow, here’s who’s coming from Atlanta

An injured Chris Withrow joined in the celebration of the Dodgers' NL West clincher in September. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

An injured Chris Withrow joined in the celebration of the Dodgers’ NL West clincher in September. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Chris Withrow, who is still on the rehab track from surgery, joins Juan Uribe in the trade to Atlanta for infielder Alberto Callaspo and pitchers Juan Jaime, Ian Thomas and Eric Stults.

A first-round draft pick in 2007, Withrow pitched 56 innings for the Dodgers with a 2.73 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 71 strikeouts. An easy guy to talk to in the clubhouse, Withrow leaves with the fourth-highest K/9 in Dodger history for those who pitched at least 50 innings, and while sentiment has been pouring out about Uribe, best wishes for the future certainly go to Withrow as well.

As for the return in the trade: While Callaspo will be on the active roster tonight, Thomas has been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City and Jaime has been assigned to extended Spring Training at Camelback Ranch. Stults, who pitched for the Dodgers from 2006-09, has been designated for assignment.

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Callaspo, who turned 32 last month, has mostly struggled (.545 OPS) since signing an offseason free-agent deal with Atlanta. However, his batting average on balls in play is at a career-low .214, and as the Dodgers’ public relations department noted in its official announcement, Callaspo “the switch-hitter has been the hardest active player to strike out in his career, averaging 11.20 plate appearances per strikeout.”

He has played all four infield positions plus left and right field in his career, though he hasn’t played outfield since 2010 or shortstop since 2009.

In addition to his 15 2/3 shutout minor-league innings this season, the 28-year-old Thomas had a 3.38 ERA in 5 1/3 innings with Atlanta, allowing nine baserunners while striking out five.

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“The lefty doesn’t throw all that many pitches north of 90 miles per hour,” Jeff Sullivan wrote of Thomas at Fangraphs today, “but he has a decently full repertoire, and in the majors he’s struck out more than a batter an inning. This year in the high minors, he has a walk and 20 strikeouts. His peripherals are strong enough, and he just hasn’t had much of a big-league opportunity. You can see why a team would want to stash him away.

Jaime, who is remarkable if only because he is a 27-year-old who was originally signed by the Montreal Expos, has walked 13 in 13 2/3 career big-league innings, but he has also struck out 19, so the Dodgers will see where that goes.

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Juan Uribe Bobblehead Night still set for July 11

LAD 2015 Juan Uribe BobbleheadBy Jon Weisman

Though Juan Uribe has officially been traded by the Dodgers, his bobblehead lives on.

“We are proceeding with our Juan Uribe Bobblehead promotion on July 11,” Dodger executive vice president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen said.

“The Dodgers have a long tradition of recognizing players who have made great contributions to the organization. Juan Uribe will hold a special place in Dodgers history for always being a fan favorite and a consummate professional.  There was no better teammate to have than Juan Uribe.”

The Dodgers host the Brewers on July 11, while Uribe’s Atlanta Braves will be at Colorado. The bobblehead is presented by Farmer John.

Thanks for the memories, Uribear

Juan Uribe, April 26, 2011 (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Juan Uribe, April 26, 2011 (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

By Jon Weisman

What an unreal journey this was, and I honestly feel I’m the better for having witnessed it.

* * *

Since a second-inning double June 20 at Oakland, Uribe is in the midst of an 0-for-27 slump, with three walks and nine strikeouts. That happens. The problem is that when he hasn’t been slumping … well, Uribe can hardly say he’s ever not been slumping as a Dodger.

— “The end of the line for Juan Uribe … or not?” July 8, 2012

* * *

“Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind – listen to the birds. And don’t hate nobody.”

— Eubie Blake

“Walk, two-run double, walk, groundout, two-run home run.”

— Juan Uribe

— “Uribe makes sweet music in Dodgers’ 8-5 victory,” July 21, 2012

* * *

Uribear

— “Uribear!,” May 5, 2013

* * *

There have been Dodgers who have had their downs and ups, but I can’t remember such a purely bottom-to-top tale of redemption as the one of Juan Uribe. …

… What Dodger endured two miserable years, while collecting a big paycheck, before putting it together in his third season? Looking at this list of Dodgers in the post-1975 free-agent era, no one with the profile of Uribe leaps to mind. It’s not like Dave Goltz, Don Stanhouse, Mike Davis or Eric Davis turned it on in Los Angeles after stinking for two years. But Uribe has.

It’s remarkable.

— “The redemption of Juan Uribe reaches new levels,” July 5, 2013

* * *

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For those of us who come to baseball for an escape, for answers or even suggestions, to feel something that we can’t often or otherwise find in everyday life, consciously or unconsciously, and see such a tale of redemption played out right at center stage, see one who was so mercilessly derided become the hero, and to know it’s real, brings an emotion to cherish above and beyond the revelry of victory.

Yes, I know Juan Uribe was well compensated as he stunk up the joint in 2011 and 2012 and he didn’t need my sympathy. And I never offered it. But strip everything else away, and you have the story of someone who found his way back from tar and feathering into sweet serenity. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve been failing, it is an inspiration. I’ll never be Clayton Kershaw, the best in the world. But I might be Juan Uribe. I might have my moment.

— “U-RI-BEAR! Dodgers swing into NLCS on redemption song,” October 8, 2013

* * *

Who were the last Dodgers born in each decade?

Mota head shot

Manny Mota

By Jon Weisman

Something in the news today made me notice that Joel Peralta, Jimmy Rollins and Juan Uribe are the only active Dodgers remaining who were born in the 1970s.

Naturally (or, upon reflection, perversely), I became curious about who held that honor in past years. Here’s the honor roll of players who were the last Dodgers born in each previous decade:

  • 1960s: Brad Ausmus, b. 1969 (2010, age 41)
  • 1950s: Rickey Henderson, b. 1958 (2002, age 44)
  • 1940s: Rick Dempsey, b. 1949 (1990, age 41)
  • 1930s: Manny Mota, b. 1938 (1982, age 44)
  • 1920s: Hoyt Wilhelm, b. 1922 (1972, age 49)
  • 1910s: Pee Wee Reese, b. 1918 (1958, age 40)
  • 1900s: Curt Davis, b. 1903 (1946, age 42)
  • 1890s: Kiki Cuyler, b. 1898 (1938, age 40)
  • 1880s: Jack Quinn, b. 1883 (1932, age 49)
  • 1870s: Kid Elberfield, b. 1875 (1914, age 39)
  • 1860s: Patsy Donovan, b. 1865 (1907, age 42)
  • 1850s: George Shoch, b. 1859 (1897, age 38)

Sutton was the last Dodger born before the end of World War II, Reese the last before the end of World War I and Donovan the last born before the end of the Civil War.

The oldest recorded birth year for any player associated with the Dodger franchise is 1851, for outfielder Jack Remsen, who finished his career with the 1884 Brooklyn Atlantics of the American Association. For the National League years, you can go all the way back to infielder Jack Burdock (b. 1852), who got the 1,231st and final hit of his career with the 1891 Brooklyn Grooms.

Changing of the guard at third base

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For more photos from Saturday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Andre Ethier, RF
Alex Guerrero, 3B
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Austin Barnes, C
Carlos Frias, P

By Jon Weisman

Don Mattingly never came out and said that Juan Uribe had been benched at third base after being the starter there for the past two seasons, but the lineups this month have indicated as much.

With a week to go in May, Uribe has four total bases this month (on four singles) plus a walk. Since making back-to-back starts May 7-8, Uribe has made two starts in the past 16 days.

Speaking to reporters this morning, Mattingly said his intention to keep putting the guys out there who are playing well, and for now that means Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero. On the horizon, of course, is Hector Olivera, who could be on the Major League roster before June is over.

Turner, who has started 11 games at third base this month, has a .421 on-base percentage and .617 slugging percentage in May. As a Dodger, Turner has a .397 OBP while slugging .505. Among players with at least 400 plate appearances, Turner has the fifth-best adjusted OPS in Dodger history, behind Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Mike Piazza and Jack Fournier.

Guerrero has cooled since his Rookie of the Month performance in April. This month, Guerrero has a .283 OBP while slugging .380. He is making his fourth start of the month today at third base and eighth at the position this year, to go with 11 starts in left field.

Today, Kiké Hernandez is making his first start as a Dodger in left field, while Austin Barnes is making his MLB debut at catcher.

In case you missed it: Andre Ethier keeps on truckin’

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres

For more images from Friday, visit LA Photog Blog — here and here.

Dodgers at Padres, 5:40 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Andre Ethier, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Carl Crawford, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Brandon McCarthy, P

By Jon Weisman

So-called reserve outfielder Andre Ethier hasn’t exactly been a wallflower this season.

With Yasiel Puig’s left hamstring again ailing, Ethier is making his eighth start this season. He is also appearing in his 16th game out of the Dodgers’ first 17, more than every other Dodger except Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins and Joc Pederson.

So far in 2015, Ethier is 9 for 30 with four walks, two hit-by-pitches and an extra-base hit of each kind, giving the 33-year-old a .405 on-base percentage and .900 slugging percentage. All but five of his plate appearances have come against right-handed pitchers, which is what he’s facing tonight in San Diego’s Ian Kennedy.

Here are some other pregame notes:

  • Both Puig and reliever Joel Peralta are candidates to go on the disabled list, Don Mattingly toward reporters today, but no decision has been made. Peralta told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that he has no pain but also no strength in his right arm.
  • Right-handed pitcher Scott Baker has arrived in San Diego with the intent of making the start Sunday for the Dodgers. Baker, who came within one strike of a seven-inning perfect game for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday, allowed two runs on 10 hits with one walk while striking out 16 in his three minor-league starts. The 33-year-old had a 5.47 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings for Texas last season.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is going to throw a bullpen session, possibly as soon as Sunday, Mattingly said.
  • Defensive positioning paid off in two big ways for the Dodgers in Friday’s 3-0 victory over San Diego. In the second inning, Howie Kendrick was standing almost directly behind second base when he caught Wil Myers’ line drive, completing Zack Greinke’s escape from a bases-loaded, none-out jam. And shortstop Jimmy Rollins ended up on the other side of second base when he threw out Yonder Alonso with two on and two out in the bottom of the eight.
  • Rollins went 0 for 4 to lower his on-base percentage to .282, but he really saved the Dodgers in that eighth inning, throwing out Wil Myers from the grass in left field for the first out, then later knocking down a Justin Upton shot to keep Matt Kemp from scoring from second base.
  • With his seven shutout innings, Zack Greinke lowered his ERA to 1.35, fourth in the National League.
  • Yimi Garcia’s perfect ninth inning, leading to his first Major League save, means that he has faced 36 batters this season and allowed only three singles and three walks while striking out 16.
  • Carl Crawford, who hit his first homer of 2015 Friday, did not hit between .200 and .300 in any given month last season. His batting averages the last three months of 2014: .163, .313, .448. Crawford is currently batting .244 with a .262 on-base percentage and .390 slugging percentage.
  • When Yasmani Grandal had to settle for a double after nearly hitting a home run in the second inning Friday, it set the stage for Juan Uribe’s first RBI of the 2015 season. Uribe hasn’t had more steals than homers since 2002, but for now, he’s one up in the stolen-base department.
  • First-base coach Davey Lopes, who turns 70 May 3, “is the oldest person in uniform with a big league team this season,” according to Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com.

Alex Guerrero and ‘Awakenings’

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants

By Jon Weisman

Three kids and nearly 13 years into being a dad, my belief in my kids’ athletic skills is about what most people had in Alex Guerrero in January, or Dee Gordon the previous January, or Marlon Anderson and Ronnie Belliard immediately after their “Why bother?” acquisitions in the summers of recent pasts.

Which is to say, practically hopeless.

A couple of months ago, during my 7-year-old’s basketball season, there was what I call an “Awakenings” moment.

Youngest Master Weisman can string some baskets together from about five feet out in the driveway, but that’s been about it. In his league games at our local rec center, games he enjoyed mainly for being with the other kids, little was happening aside from his amusing clown-car dashes from one end of the court to another.

Then, on consecutive Saturdays, he went nuts. One of the parents tallies rebounds, assists and steals (not points, because of course, we’re not those kind of parents), and my kid had 14 rebounds. And I knew he had scored three or four baskets. It was unprecedented.

The next week, I decided to keep track myself, and my son had his first double-double, on a basketball court or at In ‘N Out or anywhere. This kid had 10 points and 15 rebounds. It was unbelievable.

And as cynical as I can be about my children and sports, I thought there might have been an actual breakthrough.

There wasn’t. The next week, the scoring disappeared, the rebounding almost entirely disappeared. He was the player he had been before those two crazy weeks when everything fell into place.

That doesn’t say anything about what his future will bring, and it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have celebrated the Awakening while it happened. But it is a reminder that what’s right in front of your face isn’t necessarily reality.

Alex Guerrero is having a wondrous month, and I’m certainly more inclined to believe in his athletic skills than I was in those of my youngest boy. In February, I watched Guerrero field (which has been considered his missing link since nearly the day he joined the Dodgers) and hit, and wondered what deficiencies I wasn’t seeing. March came, and nothing changed, even as the talk continued to be that he was being handed a roster spot out of obligation rather than reward. Now it’s April, and he’s the Cuban Yasiel Puig.

Or he’s this:

OPSes

Of course, Guerrero is younger (28) than Anderson or Belliard were. I’m definitely sympathetic to the idea that Guerrero should be given a chance to show how much of this breakout performance is real. No one’s going to be happier if he’s Roy Hobbs than me.

But I also feel that the Dodgers are thoroughly justified in any skepticism they’ve built in more than a year of close observation. Even after four homers in 19 at-bats, it’s not clear that Guerrero is a better all-around player than the defensively dependable Juan Uribe (the fifth-best third baseman in the National League last year), or Justin Turner, whom Don Mattingly justifiably pointed out was basically Alex Guerrero at the plate last year and who had three doubles in a game only five days ago.

The question with Guerrero, as is the case with every Major League player, will be whether he can make the adjustments once the opposition adjusts to him. The best you can confirm for Guerrero us that he has earned the opportunity to try. Good for him, and good for the Dodgers.

But it’s naive to believe that Guerrero has proven himself beyond doubt, arrogant to suggest that the answer is obvious, and unfair to pronounce death sentences on any other players based on 15 games. Maybe Uribe is nearing the end of the line, but the perils of counting him out prematurely are underscored by how valuable he was in 2013-14.

I’m eager to see what happens next for Guerrero, with my heart wide open, but my eyes as well.

In case you missed it nightcap: Up, down and away

By Jon Weisman

Today’s resounding comeback victory — 10-5 after trailing 4-0 — didn’t forestall Austin Barnes, O’Koyea Dickson or Erisbel Arruebarrena being optioned to minor league camp after the game.

Here are some notes and news to take in before bedtime …

  • It’s a fantabulous night for a moondance, and for reading this Eric Nusbaum profile at Vice Sports about “The Likable, Unlikely Career of Juan Uribe.”
  • Zack Greinke went back to his old slider grip during an outing today that he considered an improvement, reports True Blue L.A.’s Eric Stephen, who adds an interesting quote from Greinke about the Alamo and Ozzy Osbourne.
  • Chad Gaudin hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2013, but count him among the relievers making a strong bid to be a factor in the bullpen this year, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Gaudin pitched a perfect sixth inning today, striking out Stephen Vogt and Mark Canha.
  • Yimi Garcia, who threw a scoreless inning today, has retired 13 of 15 batters he has faced this spring.
  • New commissioner Rob Manfred visited the Dodgers today, as Gurnick notes, and part of the conversation was the long-overdue return of the All-Star Game to Los Angeles. No MLB team has gone longer without one than the Dodgers, who last hosted in 1980.
  • The official dedication of the Charley Steiner School of Sports Communication at Bradley will be held March 31.
  • Two oldie but goodie former Dodgers each signed minor-league deals today: 37-year-old Rafael Furcal with the Royals and 38-year-old Randy Wolf with the Blue Jays.
  • At ESPN.com, Anna McDonald writes about how Major League Baseball is dealing with anxiety and depression among its players.

 

Dodgers turning into runway models?

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos by Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Erin Edwards

It’s true: Members of the 2015 Dodgers and their wives will suit up for a cause April 16 at the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation’s Blue Diamond Gala at Dodger Stadium, strutting down the runway in the newest creations of Ted Baker London.

DSC_5016-2This gave Spring Training a new twist last week, when fashion fittings took place in the visitor’s clubhouse at Camelback Ranch for three days prior to the commencement of games. Stylists from Ted Baker, custom tailors and the LADF crew worked with players to find just the right look.

Those on hand witnessed Juan Uribe salsa dancing as he put on his pink shirt. Uribe said he “needed to make sure his outfit was just right,” so he threw on his gold aviators. (The fittings were inside, mind you.)

And who knew new-to-the-blue Jimmy Rollins had such a flare for fashion, helping pick out his looks? Rollins, the Dodgers’ newly anointed leadoff hitter, is set to lead off the fashion show as well.

DSC_5009One other great highlight was seeing new parents Clayton and Ellen Kershaw take turns holding their sleeping baby Cali, while Mom and Dad took turns getting fitted.

Watching the Dodger players walk down the runway will be just one of the highlights of the Blue Diamond Gala. Tickets are still available. Visit dodgers.com/gala for more information.

DSC_5010

In case you missed it: Be there or Bedard

#DodgersST.

A post shared by Los Angeles Dodgers (@dodgers) on

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles DodgersBy Jon Weisman 

I’m knee-deep in the 2015 Dodger Yearbook and April 2015 Dodger Insider magazine — you’re going to like what you see in both.

Now, let’s finish off today …

  • Juan Nicasio received some nice compliments from his former team in Colorado — specifically Rockies manager Walt Weiss and general manager Jeff Bridich — via J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News.
  • Erik Bedard told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that he would accept a minor-league assignment out of Spring Training. That stands in contrast to Alex Guerrero, but of course, their contracts are structured quite differently — with Bedard on a minor-league deal to begin with — so it’s an apples-to-different-kind-of-apples comparison.
  • Brett Anderson threw to actual hitters for the first time in more than six months today, pitching two simulated innings and remaining on track to make a Cactus League start Monday. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has more.
  • By the way, Mike Bolsinger will start Saturday, while Brandon McCarthy will start Sunday, as Gurnick notes.
  • Juan Uribe likes the idea of winning a World Series every five years, given his past titles in 2005 with the White Sox and 2010 with the Giants, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Times.
  • Former Red Sox pitcher Bruce Hurst is now the Dodgers’ field coordinator of their Campo Las Palmas academy in the Dominican Republic, reports Gurnick.
  • Dan Haren has adjusted to becoming a Miami Marlin, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
  • Rick Honeycutt is among the principals in this story by Matthew Kory at Vice about the “Dad Hat.”

In case you missed it: Kershaw fires out of February

By Jon Weisman

GLENDALE, Ariz. — No intensity in February? Forget about that.

Clayton Kershaw threw live batting practice today, and though it’s all about getting the work in at this point, he meant business, grunting on his pitches, shouting an exclamation when one missed its target and only grudgingly conceding the fun in Juan Uribe hitting a home run off him.

Uribe’s homer was really the only hard-hit ball off Kershaw in his opening session.

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Elsewhere on a Spring Training day cloudy in the sky but sunny in the spirit …

  • Yasmani Grandal, who was firing rockets off his bat in batting practice today, gets an encouraging first assessment from Steve Yeager in this story by Lyle Spencer of MLB.com.
  • Kershaw finished No. 1 on MLB Network’s Top 100 players of the moment.
  • Non-roster pitcher Erik Bedard will start the Dodgers’ Cactus League opener Wednesday against the White Sox, with Kershaw on tap for Thursday. Neither is expected to go more than two innings. The team will then have a pair of split-squad games Friday. Eric Stephen has more on the starting pitching at True Blue L.A.
  • Stephen also provides this helpful reminder that Spring Training records don’t matter. Since 2008, the Dodgers have played no better than .500 in Spring Training, and no worse than .494 in the regular season.
  • This could hurt my plans for Austin Barnes to make history as the Dodgers’ first true catcher-second baseman. Farhan Zaidi told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that the team wants Barnes to focus on catching for now.
  • Tampa Bay import Joel Peralta told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that he’s looking forward to getting out of the American League East. “I’m not a power pitcher,” Peralta said. “I have to trick guys to get them out and, after facing a guy 50 times, he has a pretty good idea what I’ve got.”

Uribe, Turner could again form nice duo at third

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers workoutBy Jon Weisman

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Much has been speculated about the upcoming timeshare arrangement for the Dodgers in 2015 at catcher, but third base might not be much different.

After batting .311 with a .337 on-base percentage and sterling defensive work, Juan Uribe is the clear starter at third. Justin Turner is the team’s No. 1 infield utility player, becoming the first Dodger since Jose Hernandez in 2004 and sixth since 1924 to play more than one game at first, second, third and short.

But injuries limited Uribe, who turns 36 in March, to 103 games (98 starts) last year, opening the door for Turner to approach the 59 games (45 starts) he had at third in 2014.

“I think we do give (Uribe) breathers,” Mattingly said. “Definitely, we watch Juan. … and he’s pretty honest with us. Sometimes we get a bad matchup, and J.T. makes it easy to give him some days off.”

While Mattingly is wary of overplaying Uribe, he also finds that Turner wears down if he plays too often. That being said, he raved about Turner’s physical condition heading into camp this year.

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