As some of the flu-stricken Dodgers return to camp, the club has begun to play better (They’ve won four in a row). The Dodger clubhouse was recently hit by a nasty flu bug that knocked out nearly half of the team. The virus spread throughout the roster like a wild fire. Now that the boys in blue are nearly at full strength they’ll be ready for their next test of the spring, the Chicago Cubs.
On Monday afternoon the Dodgers defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-1. The Dodgers broke a 1-1 tie with seven unanswered runs after the seventh inning. Rich Hill looked sharp tossing three one-run innings with four punch-outs. He’s been focusing on his fastball and curves with different speeds, release points and arm angles and is able to give the opposing hitters different looks. His finger blisters seem to be gone as well, which is great to hear.
On the offensive side, Matt Kemp smashed his third home run of the spring on Monday. He continues to look good and seems to be the front runner to take over the left field job on opening day. Of course anything can change from now until opening day, but the rest of the guys (Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles, Alex Verdugo, and Trayce Thompson) seem to be behind Kemp on the depth chart. What Dodger blog would be without some highlights, and you can check out some of the Dodger’s best spring plays (including Kemp’s home run) on the front page.
The Dodgers are now 6-5-1 through 12 exhibition contests. They’ll travel to Mesa, Arizona and Sloan Park to take on the Cubs and former Dodger Yu Darvish on Tuesday afternoon. The Dodgers will send youngster Wilmer Font to the mound to counter. Font has pitched well this spring, allowing just one earned run on one hit across four frames with six strikeouts. He’s yet to walk a batter this spring too. That speaks large for him considering he had issues with his command last year during his late season stint with the Dodgers. Pedro Baez and Yimi Garcia are also scheduled to pitch in Tuesday’s game.
Other banged up Dodgers are on the mend and progressing well. Catcher Austin Barnes will return behind the dish against the Cubs. He’s been fighting a sore elbow, as has Corey Seager who continues to heal. He’s getting close to playing defensively in a real game. The Dodgers are hoping he’s back manning the shortstop position by the end of next week.