Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Mike Adams

Dodgers make difficult cuts to set 25-man roster

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Los Angeles Dodgers

For more photos from Saturday, visit LA Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

Here it is: the Dodgers’ Opening Day 25-man roster …

Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson

Relief pitchers (7): Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Juan Nicasio, Joel Peralta, Paco Rodriguez

Catchers (2): A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal

Infielders (7): Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Juan Uribe, Darwin Barney, Alex Guerrero, Justin Turner

Outfielders (5): Carl Crawford, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Scott Van Slyke

Disabled list (4): Brandon Beachy, Kenley Jansen, Brandon League, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Withrow

As evidenced by the ninth-inning homer that Kiké Hernandez hit tonight, giving the Dodgers an unreal eighth tie of Spring Training, the Dodgers are sending a lot of talent back to the minors. Hernandez alone hit six home runs during Spring Training.

Chris Heisey, David Aardsma, David Huff, Adam Liberatore and Sergio Santos were also among the last cuts.

“We feel very strongly we sent down some Major League players,” Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters after the game. “To have that depth is key.”

In the bullpen, the Dodgers kept three relievers who had options remaining — Baez, Garcia and Rodriguez — at the expense of others with more big-league experience, giving them five relievers age 30 or under. Though they released Dustin McGowan earlier this week, the Dodgers lost no other talent at the roster deadline, so their stockpile of relievers remains — and that’s with Jansen, League and Withrow potentially returning at various times later this year.

Liberatore, who struck out nine in 10 1/3 scoreless innings this spring while allowing seven baserunners, was a particularly close call, but as with so many of these players, he’ll likely have his chance. That the 27-year-old hasn’t made his MLB debut yet worked against him for Opening Day, said Friedman, who valued the younger Rodriguez’s experience for the start of the season.

Rodriguez not only matched Liberatore’s scoreless spring, he struck out 13 in 10 2/3 innings. But as the Dodgers have maintained all along, it’s about more than just numbers.

“Paco probably generated some of the worst swings out of hitters this camp,” said Friedman.  “Lib will get his chance.”

Mike Adams, who appears to be contemplating retirement, is technically reassigned to minor-league camp, according to Friedman.

Left unsaid for now is who will be the Dodgers’ fifth starter come April 14. Because that date comes less than 10 days after the start of the season — and the start of his option this year to the minors — Joe Wieland could fill that role only if he replaces a player who goes on the disabled list. A player not currently on the 40-man roster, such as Huff, could have his contract purchased for a spot start if the Dodgers make room for him.

Also delayed: Paring the Dodger bench. The Dodgers will begin the season with 11 pitchers and 14 position players, but by mid-April, the Dodgers figure to go with a 12-man pitching staff. Barney, who has done nothing but impress since becoming a Dodger last year, nevertheless stands as a player who could spend time in the minors, however briefly, if no other moves are made.

In my 14 seasons blogging about the Dodgers (I’m staring at that “14” in disbelief), this is the deepest team they have brought to Opening Day. Not every question has been answered, but no team has ever been bulletproof.  The bench and farm system are as rich as they’ve been since, well, the 1900s. Even starting the season with their No. 3 starter and No. 1 reliever on the disabled list, it’s striking how much talent the 2015 Dodgers have to draw from up and down the line.

The good, the bad and the unusual in a 7-5 loss

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By Jon Weisman

There was plenty of action in today’s 7-5 Dodger loss to the Cubs, but the marquee attraction in the “Have You Seen This Before?” Department was … no, not Sergio Santos’ four-strikeout inning, but the fact that he had a 1-3 strikeout on a pitch that caromed back to him before he threw the batter/runner out at first.

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In case you missed it: Who’s been busy?

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Dodgers at Rangers, 1:05 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Joc Pederson, CF
A.J. Ellis, DH
(Hyun-Jin Ryu, P)

By Jon Weisman

Here are the Dodgers who have seen the most Cactus League action so far this spring:

Most innings in the field: Darwin Barney (52), Juan Uribe (48), Kike Hernandez (46), Andre Ethier (45), Scott Van Slyke (43).

Most plate appearances: Adrian Gonzalez (26), Kike Hernandez (26), Andre Ethier (24), Yasmani Grandal (24), Joc Pederson (24).

Most batters faced: Clayton Kershaw (34), Joe Wieland (24), Carlos Frias (23), Zack Greinke (21), David Huff (21), Brandon McCarthy (21).

And now, some info-to-go …

  • The Dodgers haven’t committed to Joc Pederson as their starting center fielder, but he’s done nothing to dissuade them, reports Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.
  • Kenley Jensen has shed his crutches after four weeks but remains in a walking boot, writes Stephen.
  • Don Mattingly on Corey Seager (via Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles): “I’m watching him play short and I’m thinking, ‘It looks like he can play short to me,’ but what do I know.”
  • Paco Rodriguez is motivated by missing out on the Dodgers’ playoff roster the past two seasons, writes Kevin Baxter of the Times.
  • Mike Adams is a man of “meticulous routine,” according to this story by Pedro Moura of the Register.
  • Earlier this month, the Dodgers added a nice touch to the left-field entrance to the Club Level hallway at Dodger Stadium. Here are a couple of cellphone pics:



In case you missed it: Rainy day … and a Monday

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By Jon Weisman

Rain kept the Dodgers from spreading their wings across the great grounds of Camelback Ranch this morning, but as the Dodgers’ public relations department notes, it wasn’t a lost day:

With spring showers pouring down in Camelback Ranch – Glendale, the Dodgers held their fifth full-squad workout of 2015, working in the batting cages while the coaching staff held a baserunning meeting and also talked about the new pace of game rules with position players. Clayton Kershaw, Brandon League, Chris Hatcher, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Joel Peralta, Joe Wieland, Ben Rowen, Ryan Buchter and Daniel Coulombe tossed regular bullpens.

For Ryu and Peralta, this was another step forward after being a step behind last week, as Ken Gurnick of notes.

Kershaw was also christened as the Dodgers’ Opening Day starter for the 2015 regular season, putting him on track to become the second pitcher since the team moved to Los Angeles to start five consecutive Opening Days for the Dodgers. Don Sutton pitched every Opening Day from 1972-78, tying him with Don Drysdale  (1958-61, 1963, 1965, 1969) for the most Opening Day starts in Los Angeles with seven. Fernando Valenzuela had six.

As for the start of Cactus League play, Erik Bedard and Kershaw were already named starters for the first two games, Wednesday and Thursday. The scheduled relievers for Wednesday are Carlos Frias, Juan Nicasio, Sergio Santos, Adam Liberatore and Josh Ravin. For Thursday, Kershaw is to be followed by Joe Weiland, Brandon League, Chris Hatcher, Daniel Coulombe and Ryan Buchter.

Just a couple of bullet points to wrap things up:

  • Jimmy Rollins and Yasiel Puig had a two-hour “Get to Know Me” conversation, reports J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News. “You can’t make that happen,” Rollins said, “You can’t force it, to talk to somebody for two hours. It was a good thing and I was happy I did it.”
  • Newest of the newly newly signed Mike Adams gave a status report to Bill Plunkett of the Register. An excerpt:

    Adams said his shoulder “as of right now it’s good.” He said he worked with his younger brother, Jason (a personal trainer in south Texas), this winter on some changes in his mechanics to put less stress on his shoulder. But he acknowledges he “wasn’t sure if a team was going to take a gamble on me” and see if those changes will work.

Mike Adams is latest reliever to come to camp

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By Jon Weisman

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Ten-year MLB veteran righty Mike Adams, who had a 2.89 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings for the Phillies last year, has joined the Dodgers on a minor-league deal with an invite to big-league camp.

In his career, Adams has a 2.41 ERA with 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings — from 2009-11, his ERA was 1.42 in 177 1/3 innings with 192 whiffs. He was sidelined from early June until September last year with a shoulder injury.

Adams will wear No. 0, positioning him to become the second active Major Leaguer to wear that number for the Dodgers, after Al Oliver in 1985. (Brian Wilson wore No. 00.)

The 6-foot-5 righty will compete for a spot on the Dodger bullpen with such other righties as Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, David Aardsma, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Santos.

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