Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Paco Rodriguez (Page 1 of 2)

Young Dodgers in the 21st century

Clayton Kershaw makes his MLB debut on May 25, 2008.

Clayton Kershaw makes his MLB debut on May 25, 2008.

Dodgers at White Sox, 1:05 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Alex Guerrero, DH
A.J. Ellis, C
Austin Barnes, 2B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Elian Herrera, LF
Rico Noel, RF
(Clayton Kershaw, P)

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw is somehow 28 years old today, which is only slightly more believable than my youngest son turning 8 years old Sunday. My guess is that Kershaw isn’t renting a game truck this morning, though what do I know?

Anyway, just for fun, here are the youngest Dodgers to make their MLB debuts in the 2000s, with their ages at the time.

  • Edwin Jackson (September 9, 2003): 20 years, 0 days
  • Clayton Kershaw (May 25, 2008): 20 years, 67 days
  • *Adrian Beltre (April 3, 2000): 20 years, 362 days
  • Jonathan Broxton (July 29, 2005): 21 years, 43 days
  • Jose Peraza (August 10, 2015): 21 years, 102 days
  • Corey Seager (September 3, 2015): 21 years, 129 days
  • Paco Rodriguez (September 9, 2012): 21 years, 146 days
  • **Dioner Navarro (July 29, 2005): 21 years, 170 days
  • Nathan Eovaldi (August 6, 2011): 21 years, 174 days
  • Joel Guzman (June 1, 2006): 21 years, 189 days

*First game of the 2000s — actually debuted June 24, 1998, at 19 years, 78 days
**Made MLB debut September 7, 2004 with Yankees, at 20 years, 211 days

Julio Urias, who was optioned to the minor leagues Thursday, turns 20 on August 12 this year. If he gets his big-league callup before then, he will move ahead of Jackson.

Moving day brings major additions to Dodgers

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By Jon Weisman

It’s a massive move that puts five established pitchers in the Dodger starting rotation from now through October.

It’s a win-now, win-later maneuver that deepens the franchise for years to come.

In a three-team deal with Atlanta and Miami, the Dodgers have acquired left-handed pitchers Alex Wood and Luis Avilan, right-handers Mat Latos, Jim Johnson and Bronson Arroyo, second baseman-shortstop Jose Peraza and outfielder-first baseman Michael Morse.

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Eric Surkamp brought up by Dodgers, but Yimi Garcia will start tonight

Eric Surkamp (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Eric Surkamp has a 3.77 ERA in Triple-A this season. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

By Jon Weisman

Eric Surkamp, whom the Dodgers acquired May 23 from the White Sox for minor-leaguer Blake Smith, has been brought up from Triple-A Oklahoma City for tonight’s game for Los Angeles in place of the injured Carlos Frias.

Surkamp will not start, however. Instead, relief pitcher Yimi Garcia will make his first official MLB start, with the Dodgers possibly then playing a platoon switcheroo and bringing Surkamp in for early long relief. It’s possible the Dodgers could even go through tonight’s game without having the pitcher bat, giving them a psuedo-designated hitter.

Garcia has pitched a career-high two innings four times, most recently June 15 against Texas. His career high in pitches for one game is 33, set September 14 against San Diego. His last professional start came in 2011 with Rookie League Ogden.

The 24-year-old hasn’t pitched since July 1, except for a five-pitch outing Saturday. From June 7-27, he had a 0.79 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings, while stranding all five inherited runners. But in three outings since then, Garcia has allowed four runs on five hits in two innings.

Daniel Coulombe has been optioned to Oklahoma City for the sixth time this year, and Paco Rodriguez has moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day to make room for Surkamp on the 40-man roster.

For a variety of health and scheduling reasons, Scott Baker, Brandon Beachy, Zach Lee, Ian Thomas and Joe Wieland were among the other minor-league starting pitchers unavailable to make today’s start.

In 53 2/3 career MLB innings, Surkamp — who turns 28 in 10 days — has a 6.20 ERA with 33 strikeouts against 98 baserunners. He pitched 35 big-league games in relief in 2013, and his last MLB start was July 23, 2013. He has never pitched in Dodger Stadium.

His best Major League outing was his first, when he allowed one run in six innings on August 27, 2011 for the Giants against Houston, striking out four.

Over his past five starts with Oklahoma City, all in June, the lefty has had a 2.89 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 28 innings.

Surkamp pitched for the White Sox against the Dodgers on Opening Day of Cactus League play this year, allowing a run in two innings on two hits, including a Joc Pederson double.

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Surgery to sideline Paco Rodriguez for two more months

Los Angeles Dodgers workoutBy Jon Weisman

Although Paco Rodriguez was seeing some progress in rehab, it was not enough.

The 24-year-old left was examined Thursday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who recommended an arthroscopy to remove loose bodies in the back of Rodriguez’s elbow. Surgery will be performed July 2, with Rodriguez expected to be sidelined for 8-10 weeks. That figures to put Rodriguez out of action at least until rosters expand in September.

A Dodger second-round draft pick in 2012, Rodriguez became the first from that entire draft to reach the Major Leagues, and from in 61 innings (87 games) 2012-13, he had a 2.21 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Rodriguez has thrown 24 1/3 big-league innings since, with a 3.33 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 8.9 K/9. He most recently pitched for the Dodgers on May 29.

After 22 months, Brandon Beachy returns to action in rehab start

By Jon Weisman

Making his first appearance in a professional game since August 20, 2013, right-handed pitcher Brandon Beachy faced six batters tonight in a rehab start with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Beachy allowed two groundouts and two lineouts while walking one and striking out one.

The 27-year-old has a 3.23 ERA in 267 2/3 career innings with 275 strikeouts, including a 4.50 ERA in 30 innings with 23 strikeouts in 2013, between his first and second Tommy John surgeries.

Another Brandon, last name of League, faced four batters in his rehab inning during the same game, with one hit allowed and one strikeout.

Earlier, Ken Gurnick of reported that the Dodgers planned to activate Scott Van Slyke from the disabled list on Wednesday, and that relievers Paco Rodriguez, Joel Peralta and Pedro Baez were continuing to progress toward their returns as well.

Big crowd on Dodger injury rehab train

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Dodgers at Padres, 1:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, LF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

Scott Van Slyke and Joel Peralta began their rehab assignments Saturday, as Ken Gurnick of notes.

The timing of Van Slyke’s return is noteworthy in part because the Dodgers will use a designated hitter for the first time this season when they play Monday and Tuesday at Texas. Alex Guerrero seems like an obvious choice, but Van Slyke could also figure in the mix as he works his way back into active duty.

(Update: Don Mattingly told reporters today that the Dodgers planned to have Van Slyke play left field for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga today and first base Monday, then take Tuesday off and be activated in Los Angeles on Wednesday if all goes well.)

The Dodgers are scheduled to face righties Yovani Gallardo and Chi Chi Gonzalez in Arlington. The 23-year-old Gonzalez has a 0.42 ERA after three career Major League starts, totaling 21 2/3 innings, though with only eight strikeouts.

Here’s an excerpt from Gurnick’s update:

Van Slyke, healing from a strained mid-back muscle, went 1-for-4 with a double and strikeout as a designated hitter against Stockton in his first rehab game.

Peralta, healing from a pinched nerve in his neck, reached his pitch limit after two-thirds of an inning, charged with one run on two hits in his second rehab appearance.

The list of Dodgers lined up for injury rehab assignments with Rancho Cucamonga in the next few days includes Paco Rodriguez (elbow spur), who shows up there Monday, Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery) on Tuesday, and Brandon League (right shoulder impingement), who goes back to back both of those days.

Peralta, out since April 23, has allowed no runs or inherited runners to score in his 5 2/3 innings this season, scattering two singles and three walks while striking out four.

An activation of League from the disabled list is expected around June 24, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News, who separately notes that Beachy is expected to use the full 30 days available to him for his rehab assignment, which would place his arrival in the Dodger rotation no sooner than July 17, the first day after the All-Star Break.  No doubt, the sequence of the Dodger rotation will depend on the use of Zack Greinke and/or Clayton Kershaw at the Midsummer Classic.

In addition, Pedro Baez has been throwing bullpen sessions at Camelback Ranch “but is probably still a week away from starting a rehab assignment,” according to Bill Plunkett of the Register.

Adam Liberatore and Josh Ravin are the two current Dodger relievers who have spent time in the minors this season, but if the Dodgers want to make room in the bullpen for Peralta, Rodriguez, League and Baez, they’d have to carve out more space.

If Van Slyke, Peralta, League, Beachy, Rodriguez and Baez are all activated over the next month, that would turn over nearly 25 percent of the active roster. And that doesn’t factor in Carl Crawford, in Arizona recovering from his oblique injury, and Hector Olivera, whose MLB debut is still expected in the coming weeks.

* * *

Josh Sborz, drafted 74th overall by the Dodgers last week, was profiled by Cash Kruth at after striking out five in three shutout innings for Virginia at the College World Series on Saturday.

“He throws strikes. He attacks you. That slider is, what, 84 to sometimes up to 87, 88 mph. It’s a pretty darned good pitch,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said. “So you have a lot of confidence in him that he’s going to go at them and give his best. And he’s been pretty darned near as good as you can be all year long for us.”

Aside from his fastball and slider, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Sborz also shows solid feel for a changeup that he really doesn’t need as a reliever. Last season, Sborz posted a 2.92 ERA in 15 games (13 starts) while mostly working out of the rotation, and the Dodgers have said they plan to begin developing him as a starter.

Dodgers place Paco Rodriguez on disabled list, call up Matt West

Dodgers at Cardinals, 11:15 a.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Andre Ethier, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Alex Guerrero, LF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Brett Anderson, P

By Jon Weisman

Paco Rodriguez has had trouble finishing pitches, manager Don Mattingly told reporters this morning, so he has been placed on the disabled list and is heading to Los Angeles for examination on his left elbow.

Rodriguez’s velocity has been on the decline, as noted in the Daily News by J.P. Hoornstra, despite not having been used frequently. Friday’s 18-pitch outing was his first in five days, and he has pitched on consecutive days only once in the past six weeks.

Here’s a small excerpt from Hoornstra’s piece:

… What’s interesting is that Rodriguez said he had no idea his velocity has been steadily dropping. He’s never relied primarily on speed to be effective, rather deception and location. Because of that, he said, he’s never paid close attention to radar-gun readings.

The decrease in speed is partially by design. Rodriguez said he was hoping to slow down his curveball this year by tightening his grip on the ball, “just so the fastball looks that much harder.” Rodriguez allowed for the possibility that he’s tightened the grip on all his pitches inadvertently. …

So far in 2015, Rodriguez has a 2.61 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 10 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts, stranding 17 of 22 inherited runners.

To take Rodriguez’s place on the active roster, the Dodgers have called up Matt West, the righty they cashed out of Toronto on May 4, from Triple-A Oklahoma City. In the organization this year, West has had 10 strikeouts and a 0.68 WHIP in 10 1/3 innings for Double-A Tulsa, along with four baserunners in two innings with one strikeout for Oklahoma City.

West’s MLB career consists of four innings with the Rangers last season, in which he allowed three runs on seven baserunners while striking out three.

If and when he appears in a game, West will be the first in Dodger history to wear No. 76. However, he will only be the second Dodger ever from Houston’s Bellaire High, after the inimitable Kelly Wunsch.

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.

Thrills, spills and chills in the outfield

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For images from Friday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimBy Jon Weisman

While Thursday’s game for the Dodgers, a 3-2 loss to the Angels, was meant to be about the bullpen, the outfielder kept drawing our eyes away.

First, there was Joc Pederson’s tumbling, volleyballing catch in center, where he bumped and set the ball in the air before nearly spiking it, instead hanging on for the out.

Then, there was the collision between Howie Kendrick and Yasiel Puig in short right field, which threatened to be the worst jolt to a Dodger throat since a shard of Bill Russell’s broken bat impaled Steve Yeager in the on-deck circle nearly 40 years ago.

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Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimPuig remained horizontal on his frontside for a couple minutes before returning to his feet and walking off the field on his own power. He was examined (his chin apparently taking part of the blow) and found to be fine, his removal from the game simply to take advantage of the few remaining ticks of exhibition season to let him begin decompressing early. He’s expected back as soon as tonight, though again, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Dodgers allowed him 24 more hours convalescence.

The collision, weirdly enough, came in Kendrick’s first game in Anaheim as a visiting player.

“There hasn’t been any trouble out there all spring,” Don Mattingly said after the game, as Clay Fowler of the Daily News reported. “It was just one of those things. I don’t know if Yasiel didn’t think he could call it early enough. I mean you can’t call for it until you know you’ve got it, so everybody keeps coming until the end. And obviously with him calling it late, Howie’s going to keep going and he’s going to have trouble stopping. … That’s when it gets dangerous.”

As for the pitching, the Dodgers were good to their word, using eight pitchers for exactly one inning each (though minor-leaguer Josh Ravin faced one batter in the fifth inning – Mike Trout, who hit the ball to Puig and Kendrick that ended up being ruled an infield triple. Sergio Santos went first for the Dodgers, allowing a one-out homer to that man Trout, who can apparently play a little ball.

Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimAdam Liberatore (pictured) and Paco Rodriguez each added a shutout inning to their ERAly perfect springs, continuing to make it difficult for the Dodgers to option them even in the short term, while J.P. Howell and Chris Hatcher continued their comebacks from uneven Marches with shutout innings of their own. Righties Pedro Baez and Joel Peralta also pitched shutout innings.

Hatcher, who might see some ninth-inning action in the absence of Kenley Jansen, has been in nine games this spring, pitching shutout ball in seven of them and allowing three runs in each of the other two.

Among the position players, Darwin Barney extended his effort to stave off demotion by doubling off the bench. In his past five games, the stalwart defender is 6 for 9 with three doubles and a triple. Pederson had the Dodgers’ only extra-base hit against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker, an RBI double, as part of a 1-for-3 night.

In case you missed it: Guerrero goes deep twice, gets one homer


For more photos from Saturday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Justin Turner, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, LF
Alex Guerrero, 3B
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Darwin Barney, 2B
Carlos Frias, P

By Jon Weisman

Alex Guerrero homered to left in his second at-bat of Saturday’s 5-4 Dodger victory over the Angels, but it was the out he made in the first inning that might be the Dodgers’ most memorable blast of the spring.

Guerrero, who finished 2 for 4, launched one to the 420-foot mark in center field, only for Angels center fielder Mike Trout to rise above the wall to grab it.

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Rangers at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Chris Heisey, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Scott Van Slyke, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Buck Britton, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Brandon McCarthy, P

What else have we got?

  • One of the big points of discussion emerging after Saturday’s game was whether the pitching of J.P. Howell, David Huff, Paco Rodriguez and Adam Liberatore could encourage the Dodgers to carry more lefty relievers than you’d ever have expected. Ken Gurnick of, Bill Plunkett of the Register and Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles lay things out.
  • J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News has more specifically on Huff.
  • Joe Posnanski tells a baseball integration and acceptance story through the life of former Dodger Bobby Bragan.

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: Starting off with sparkle

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For photos from Tuesday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Dodgers at Cubs, 1:05 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Chris Heisey, RF
Yasiel Puig, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Justin Turner, DH
Joc Pederson, LF
Kike Hernandez, 3B
(Zack Greinke, P)

By Jon Weisman

Relive Darwin Barney’s dazzler from Tuesday in the video above, then move right into today’s news and notes …

  • Clayton Kershaw gave up a third-inning home run to Nick Hundley on a hanging curveball in Tuesday’s 2-2 tie with Colorado, but he seemed more annoyed by his 10-pitch walk to Jeremy Barfield in the previous inning, writes Ken Gurnick at Kershaw threw 14 pitches in the bullpen after his three-inning outing.
  • Don Mattingly told reporters that Yasmani Grandal will catch Kershaw in his next outing. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has more.
  • Dodger relievers Joe Wieland, David Aardsma, Paco Rodriguez and Pedro Baez combined to retire the final 16 Rockies. Wieland was perfect over two innings with four groundouts and a strikeout. Rodriguez struck out all three batters he faced. (Here’s video of the last one.)
  • Julio Urias is scheduled for his second Spring Training outing today and Joc Pederson is OPSing 1.091, but Corey Seager is turning as many heads as anyone. Dylan Hernandez of the Times has more in this feature.
  • Pederson, Grandal, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez are scheduled to make the two-day trip to San Antonio for split-squad games against the Rangers at the Alamodome’s Big League Weekend, March 20-21. Tim Wallach will manage. More details about the event here.
  • This story on Grandal from Bill Plunkett of the Register is worth it if only to read Don Mattingly say of Grandal, “He’s a dangerous cat.”
  • Joel Peralta had a successful bullpen session Tuesday and is scheduled for his Cactus League debut Friday, reports Gurnick.
  • MLB Network spent Tuesday at Camelback Ranch, so there’s a lot of Dodger-related content up at
  • Vin Scully talked to Jill Painter Lopez of Fox Sports about his preparation for Year 66 with the Dodgers.
  • The Dodgers have the fourth-easiest schedule in the National League for the first quarter of the season, writes ESPN Insider’s Buster Olney, who adds this tidbit: “The Dodgers will have the bulk of their NL West games completed by the All-Star break. They will play 13 of their 19 games against Colorado by June 3, 12 of their 19 games against the Padres by June 14, and 12 of their 19 games against the Giants by June 20.”
  • Peter Gammons explains at Gammons Daily why he thinks the Dodgers won the offseason.
  • Will Ferrell plans to play in all eight Cactus League games Thursday, traveling to each via helicopter. By the time he’s done, according to the Associated Press, he’ll have played all nine positions. It’s true because it’s crazy. (The Dodgers play the Padres that night, so you can expect many “Anchorman” references that day.)
  • Fielding-independent pitching is ready to be informed by much more context, writes Jonathan Judge at the Hardball Times.
  • Matthew Mesa preserved this Twitter conversation for posterity:

In case you missed it: Strike one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine …

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

For more photos from today, visit LA Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

The picture above, of a ball thrown by Clayton Kershaw, efficiently shows he is able to strike out the side at any given moment.

That was then, this is … also then:

  • Kershaw had identical strikeout-walk ratios to righty and lefty batters in 2014, a development that intrigued Alec Dopp at Gammons Daily.
  • Joel Peralta, who is behind on his throwing program, could join Kenley Jansen and Chris Withrow on the Opening Day disabled list, reports Ken Gurnick of
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu was held out of workouts today but is expected back Thursday, reports Gurnick.
  • Newly signed Chad Gaudin missed the 2014 season after having a rare surgical procedure, unprecedented for an MLB player, writes Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.
  • Stephen also has an entertaining notebook of Week 1 Spring Training observations.
  • Ryu is the Dodgers’ fastest-working pitcher, and Peralta the slowest. Read more about it from Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest.
  • Paco Rodriguez talked about his offseason adjustments with Ron Cervenka of Think Blue LA.
  • Alex Guerrero’s thoughts about changing relations between U.S. and Cuba and his evolving status with the Dodgers can be found in this piece by Bill Plunkett of the Register.

"Goodbye LA. Off to Arizona #SpringTraining." –@tommy2lasorda

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

A rare start at second base against a righty for Justin Turner

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres

For more photo highlights from Tuesday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Yasiel Puig, CF
Justin Turner, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Dan haren, P

By Jon Weisman

Since Australia in March, Dee Gordon has been as regular as they come against right-handed starting pitching in 2014, but the charms of hot-hitting Justin Turner have given Don Mattingly the opportunity to give the speedy second baseman to have an extra day of rest heading into Thursday’s off day.

Turner has a .437 on-base percentage and .517 slugging percentage in 229 plate appearances since May 11.

Gordon has been on a hot streak of his own in the past week, going 10 for 29 with a walk and two doubles for a .367 on-base percentage and .414 slugging percentage. For what it’s worth, Mattingly mentioned Gordon not having a strong history against Kennedy (4 for 21, including a double and a triple, with one walk and six strikeouts).

Some other quick hits (some courtesy of the Dodgers’ PR department):

  • Paco Rodriguez threw a bullpen session today at 100 percent and it went really well, according to Mattingly, who added that the key is how the lefty reliever feels the day after.
  • Over the past month, Carl Crawford is first in the big leagues in batting average (.405), fourth in on-base percentage (.453) and seventh in slugging percentage (.557).
  • Though it has taken him a month to do it because of how rarely the Dodgers have been facing lefties, Scott Van Slyke has quietly put together a 10-game hitting streak with a .985 OPS since August 8.
  • Matt Kemp has an even longer hitting streak going: 15 games. His career-long is 19.
  • Adrian Gonzalez is on pace to become the first Dodger to lead NL in sacrifice flies in back-to-back years since Gil Hodges (1954-55).

Notebook: Three weeks to go …

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Arizona Diamondbacks

For more photo highlights from Sunday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Kershaw CCVI: Kershawffice Space 
Dee Gordon, 2B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Yasiel Puig, CF
Justin Turner, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

I’m starting today’s pregame notebook with perhaps the least relevant note, but today before batting practice, Erisbel Arruebarrena and Alex Guerrero were practicing 6-4-3 and 4-6-3 double plays, and they put on a show in my eyes.

Arruebarrena has had some recent injury issues, but he was healthy today and back to showing as quick a release after fielding a grounder as you’ll ever see. And I know Guerrero doesn’t have as great a reputation at second base, but he looked smooth on the turn to me.

Of course, what do I know? For one thing, there weren’t any actual baserunners bearing down on Arruebarrena and Guerrero, but Don Mattingly agreed that they looked good, so there’s that.

In other notes:

  • The Dodgers have definitely benefited from the month that Clayton Kershaw missed, Mattingly said, in terms of being fresh for the stretch run and able to go longer in games.
  • Zack Greinke had no issues after Sunday’s six-inning start, Mattingly said.
  • Carlos Frias is not expected to start another game for the Dodgers this year, and Mattingly said that Frias’ two shutout innings Sunday in relief explains why — there’s increasing viability for him to become a more integral part of the bullpen. “First inning he comes in, he pretty much attacks, throws strikes, gets three outs and then he’s able to go back out,” Mattingly said. “We’ve had some kind of middle-innings issues of where to go at certain times, so he could be a valuable guy right there where he was at yesterday.”
  • Sixteen of Frias’ past 17 innings have been scoreless, with only three hits and one walk in those 16 frames. Only blemish: three runs in his fourth inning of work August 24 vs. the Mets.
  • Onelki Garcia is healthy and a contender to see MLB game action before this season is over. Garcia, who made his big-league debut on September 11, 2013 but had two offseason surgeries, pitched a shutout inning for Chattanooga in their Southern League semifinal-round victory Sunday.
  • Injured reliever Paco Rodriguez threw on flat ground and is moving forward again.
  • Three weeks and 19 games remain in the regular season. The Dodgers’ magic number is 17, but in reality, 15 victories would guarantee the title because of the number of games they play against second-place San Francisco. (Thanks to Bob Timmermann for the note.)

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