Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Micah Johnson

Podcast: Micah Johnson, Dodger-turned-artist

Micah Johnson working on a collaborative piece with fellow former major leaguer Matt Sczzur, with George Floyd as the subject. (


Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to have a conversation for the Word to the Weisman podcast with Micah Johnson, the former Dodger who at the age of 29 has transformed into a full-time artist with growing success. He’s a really interesting guy, and I think you’ll enjoy our  30-minute chat about his unique career journey as well as his thoughts about the landmark year of 2020.

You can listen above, or find Word to the Weisman on your favorite podcast app.

And for more about Johnson, including a look at his artwork, check out his Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as his website and this one, The Arthlete


Dodgers call up Micah Johnson

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kershaw CCLXI: Kershully
Howie Kendrick, LF
Kiké Hernández, CF
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian González, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Chase Utley, 2B
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Micah Johnson, who was on the Dodgers’ roster early this year but hasn’t been in the big leagues since April 10, was recalled by Los Angeles before tonight’s series opener against the Giants.

The 25-year-old Johnson, who stole 84 bases in the minors in 2013, gives the Dodgers an extra pinch-running option off the bench, as well as fielding depth. He played second, third, center and left for Triple-A Oklahoma City this year.

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Micah Johnson optioned to Oklahoma City

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants

With the expectation of activating Howie Kendrick from the disabled list Tuesday, the Dodgers have optioned second baseman Micah Johnson to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Johnson went 0 for 3 in two games for Los Angeles.

Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal are both expected to return to active duty in time for the home opener, though Grandal is not expected to start. Arizona is scheduled to throw left-hander Patrick Corbin against the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda.

— Jon Weisman

Carl Crawford to disabled list, Micah Johnson recalled

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 p.m.
Kershaw XXXLIV: Kershawrace and Pete
Kiké Hernandez, 2B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Trayce Thompson, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Charlie Culberson, SS
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Carl Crawford has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with lower back tightness, and the Dodgers have recalled Micah Johnson from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

As Ken Gurnick of reported Friday, Crawford has been dealing with the back issue since the middle of Spring Training.

Crawford, who has missed at least a month a season with an injury for each of the last five years, said he has had occasional lower-back issues in the past that would “flare up and cool down.” He said he is particularly puzzled because he worked over the winter and spring specifically in an attempt to avoid injuries.

“It seems like the opposite happened,” he said. “I feel terrible about that. I really tried hard to maintain my strength in the core and back and I’m still having issues.”

Crawford was 3 for 11 with two RBI in the young 2016 season, playing 17 innings in three games in left field.

Johnson is a second baseman, but he started in left field Friday with Oklahoma City for the first time in his pro career. He was 3 for 9 in Triple-A in two games, after OPSing .841 in 2015 with 28 steals in 35 attempts.

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Urias, De Leon among seven sent to minors

Ross Stripling pitching on March 6.

Ross Stripling pitching on March 6.

By Jon Weisman

Pitching prospects Julio Urias, Jose De Leon and Ross Stripling are among seven players the Dodgers sent to minor-league camp this afternoon.

From the 40-man roster, the Dodgers optioned second baseman Micah Johnson and pitchers Yaisel Sierra, Ian Thomas and Stripling. Non-roster players who were reassigned include De Leon, Urias and catcher Jack Murphy.

Johnson has made no errors despite leading Dodger infielders in playing time so far with 66 defensive innings, and is a likely callup at some point during the regular season.

Urias and De Leon have made the most noise among the pitchers, combining for eight strikeouts in nine innings, though it was actually Stripling who has had the best month. The 26-year-old right-hander, nearly two years removed from Tommy John surgery, pitched two shutout innings with four strikeouts in the Dodgers’ 5-1 loss to Kansas City today, and has six innings with a 0.00 ERA in Cactus League play.

None of the aforementioned pitchers, however, was destined to start the season in the Majors — least of all Sierra, the recent Cuban signee who has yet to appear in a game.

Still alive in the competition for the fifth spot in the Dodger starting rotation (behind Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood) are Brandon Beachy, Mike Bolsinger and Zach Lee. The Dodgers have only two off days in April after the regular season starts.

Making his first appearance today since March 7, Wood pitched three innings, allowing a run on five baserunners with one strikeout.

“It felt good, it was good,” Wood said, according to’s Barry M. Bloom. “I had one goal and that was to be efficient, which was a little different from the last time out. I was happy I was able to do that.”

Another Dodger pitching highlight today came from Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side in his inning.

[mlbvideo id=”556706483″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

In case you missed it: Tale of three starting pitchers

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Mike Bolsinger has allowed two runs in nine Spring Training innings. (Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Mike Bolsinger shone in the spotlight for the Dodgers, while Scott Kazmir and Hyun-Jin Ryu had interesting days behind the scenes.

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In case you missed it: Happy offense behind Kershaw

By Jon Weisman

Spring Training stats are never, ever to be taken seriously.

So it’s entirely in the spirit of fun and frolic that I point out the Dodgers have a .383 on-base percentage and .478 slugging percentage as a team, after reaching base 17 times in today’s 7-3 victory over the Cubs (recapped here by

Here are some postgame notes and news about the 4-1-1 Dodgers:

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In case you missed it: Utley’s suspension canceled

Chase Utley works out on February 29. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Chase Utley works out on February 29. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Indians at Dodgers, 12:05 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Corey Seager, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Trayce Thompson, RF
Rob Segedin, 3B
Shawn Zarraga, DH
Charlie Culberson, 2B
(Alex Wood, P)

By Jon Weisman

Chase Utley spoke to reporters today about MLB rescinding his two-game suspension for his hard slide into Ruben Tejada at last year’s National League Division Series.

“At the end of the day, I believe that he believes the slide was not an illegal slide,” Utley said, according to Bill Plunkett of the Register.

Utley also spoke about Tejada, according to Doug Padilla of

“I can’t say enough how terrible I felt for Ruben,” Utley said. “I had no intent to hurt him whatsoever. If anybody thinks I did, they’re completely wrong.”

Bill Shaikin and Mike DiGiovanna of the Times reported Sunday that the suspension would be withdrawn by MLB, which last month revised its rulebook about plays at second base.

… Tejada, vulnerable because his back was turned toward Utley, suffered a fractured right fibula and was sidelined for the rest of the playoffs. In announcing the suspension for what an MLB statement called an “illegal slide,” (MLB chief baseball officer Joe) Torre cited Utley for a “rolling block … away from the base.”

However, such a slide was not explicitly outlawed until Feb. 25, when MLB adopted a new rule to protect middle infielders on slides into second. As a result, Torre said Sunday, the league might have faced difficulty upholding the suspension via an appeal hearing.

“I think it would have been an issue,” Torre said. “There wasn’t anything clear-cut to say that play violated a rule.”

Torre said the priority for the league was not in pursuing a suspension of Utley but in revising the rules to enhance player safety. …

Here are some more pregame news and notes …

  • Howie Kendrick was going to make his first Spring Training start at third base today, but he was a late scratch because of right groin soreness. For the second time in three days, Shawn Zarraga was called upon to serve as emergency designated hitter, with Rob Segedin taking the start at third.
  • Carl Crawford confirmed to Ken Gurnick of that he has been told he will begin the season as a reserve left fielder behind Andre Ethier.
  • Gurnick rounds up some more health updates, including two innings of live batting practice by Julio Urias and the resumption of Hyun-Jin Ryu’s throwing program after a week off.
  • Also, Ethier has a right-hand contusion but was able to continue most baseball activities today, while Alex Guerrero is also back at it and is a candidate to start at designated hitter on Tuesday.
  • Micah Johnson spoke to Padilla about his bid to carve out playing time for himself at what’s become a crowded second base for the Dodgers.
  • SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo was among those to speak with Richard Deitsch of in this comprehensive story about safety issues facing female sports reporters.
  • The story of Clayton Kershaw’s Public Enemy No. 1 is introduced from the point of view of the batter, Sean Casey, in this Anthony Castrovince story for Sports on Earth.
  • UCLA unveiled a Jackie Robinson statue on campus Sautrday, writes Chad Thornburg of In December, the Dodgers announced plans for their own Robinson statue at Dodger Stadium this year.
  • Tom Knight, a preeminent Brooklyn baseball historian, is remembered in this obituary by Bruce Weber for the New York Times.

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
  • 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 acquire trio from White Sox in three-way deal

From the Dodgers’ public relations department:

The Dodgers today announced the completion of a three-team trade with the Reds and White Sox, with the Dodgers receiving right-handed pitcher Frankie Montas, outfielder Trayce Thompson and second baseman Micah Johnson; the Reds receiving Jose Peraza, outfielder Scott Schebler and minor league infielder Brandon Dixon; and the White Sox receiving third baseman Todd Frazier.

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