News And Notes: Dodgers Suffer First Spring Loss With Error Festival

Julio Urias

The Dodgers suffered their first loss of the exhibition season on Monday afternoon with an 8-5 defeat to the Indians. In that game Alex Wood countered 26-year old right hander Danny Salazar. I didn’t see the game but Wood apparently got rocked like a hurricane. Wood allowed five runs, two earned on four hits with two strikeouts across two frames. I know it’s just the first spring game so I will remain optimistic. However you guys all know I was never very high on Wood since the Dodgers acquired him at the trade deadline last year.

I hope he’s able to make adjustments because that’s what baseball is all about. Making adjustments. Brandon Beachy pitched two scoreless innings. Also appearing in the game was J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Louis Coleman, Yimi Garcia, and Ian Thomas.

In the game, the Dodger offense scored five runs on seven hits. Corey Seager had two hits going 2 for 3, but the offensive star of the game was someone you would least expect. Non-roster guy Charlie Culberson hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning. Unfortunately the Dodgers had no love for the glove committing four errors. It was like a bumblefest. Seager made two errors, Trayce Thompson made one and Brandon Hicks had one as well. Thank god it’s only spring.

Here’s some news and notes to get us caught up as the boys in blue will be taking on the Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park at 12:05 PM. Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers against Kyle Hendricks for Chicago. Unfortunately the game is not televised or on MLB.tv.

Howie Kendrick is battling a sore groin.

It appears Kendrick was a late scratch in Monday afternoon’s loss to the Indians because of a sore groin. Kendrick first felt the soreness during workouts on Sunday morning. It doesn’t appear to be serious, but the Dodgers of course want to be cautious with the veteran second baseman. The Dodgers will evaluate him on Tuesday morning, but as of now there are no MRIs scheduled.

Julio Urias nearing return to throwing.

Top pitching prospect Julio Urias is nearing his nearing his Cactus League debut. The Dodgers still want to be cautious with him too. Urias has been battling groin tightness the last week. The youngster threw two innings of live batting practice of Monday and reported feeling no pain. If everything goes according to plan, Urias could make his spring debut towards the end of the week. His bullpen sessions have been reported as incredible by some. He apparently has been so good that he’s been breaking bats.

Andre Ethier has a hand contusion

More bumps and bruises coming out of Camelback. This time it’s Andre Ethier falling victim to the nasty little gremlin. Dre has a hand contusion that kept him out of action on Monday, but he should be back in the lineup on Tuesday. He was able to take batting practice and reported no problems.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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36 thoughts on “News And Notes: Dodgers Suffer First Spring Loss With Error Festival

  1. Didn’t see Urias. Didn’t see Kendrick. Did see Ethier in batting practice and he looked fine, driving balls to all fields. It was batting practice, and as professional hitters they ALL should drive those pitches. Most did. As I mentioned yesterday, Joc didn’t. Whatever he was working on wasn’t working. It’s early, but I have concerns about him. He did walk a couple times, but frankly if I was a pitcher I’d go right after him. No need to be fine with a hitter who is struggling. Cleveland pitchers had 6 BB’s. Salazar looked good. Joba sure didn’t. Cleveland has an impressive young centerfielder in Tyler Naquin. I never heard of him. He’s from Cleveland, why would I have heard of him?

    1. Badger it looked like to me, that Joc wasn’t going to swing, unless he had two strikes on him. He really looked like he was trying to get walked, like the end of last year. I don’t think Joc should lead off, that puts to much pressure on Joc, and makes him to look at to many pitches, to try to get on with a walk. Joc needs to swing earlier in the count, if he gets a ball over the plate, so he won’t get behind on the count, and give the pitcher the edge. Joc had said he worked with his former coach from AAA. I was hoping that Joc would find someone different to work with. Ward said that he had worked with Pederson, only a few times. And Ward said that Joc had already made an adjustment, before he worked with Joc. To me, his swing looks the same, once he swings the bat. It looks to me, that he only changed his leg lift, he used for his timing mechanism, and his batting stance. And you are right, he looks so uncomfortable with his stance. He looks so stift, and so uncomfortable, that he isn’t ready to swing, when the pitch is thrown. It looks like he is concentrating on making sure he is doing everything correctly, concerning his stance, and his new approach at the plate. His batting stance really looks so forced.

  2. I am afraid Pederson is going back to AAA. Rick Monday said the batting cage is where he needs to be. He should not be playing exhibition games until he figures it out. I hope Thompson is ready.

    1. Yeah during Sunday’s game Monday said Joc struck out three times, each time with a very different swing. Not good!

  3. Today, our rich organization who has its own tv station won’t be broadcasting the game either by tv or by radio (am or online). This is pathetic

    So, if you want to hear whats happening, the Cubs will have radio only that we can hear via mlb app or cubs.com

  4. Whatever happened to the Kike b/u experiment in CF??? Like to see Trayce play every day in AAA and Kike at bats…
    Haven’t checked, but would WGN telecast it???
    Belated happy bday Badger… Remember you’re just a day older than the day before!!!
    EZ access to the back fields Badger???

    1. No WGN either

      Happy Bday Badger! Veggie Indian food on me next time we hang out (which would be the first time we hang out)

  5. Mmmm from what I’ve seen, I fear some of our doubts are still there.

    I think both sides of the debate during the off season agreed that we need rebound seasons from Joc & Puig if we are to prosper.
    So far Joc, if possible looks worse.
    I know it’s only a small sample, but he looks totally lost. I’m surprised that he hasn’t done more over the winter? To turn up to ST like this is strange to me, knowing how badly he ended last season.

    Puig, well I am trying to keep an option mind on him, but to be honest I fear the worst. You guys know s lot more about the game than I do, but to my eye I see no discernible improvement on either side of the ball.

    Alex Wood. No not for me.

    Agon looks like he’s stiff as a board.

    Utley ( who I championed) is scuffling.

    Kendrick is injured already.

    Guerrero is injured already.

    No sign of JT yet.

    However it’s not all doom & gloom as CC, Dre, Grandal & a few of the NRIs have started well.

    Was good to see Corey get a couple of hits yesterday.

    On the pitching front, other than Wood & Kazmir, things are more encouraging.
    I liked Maeda & thought Z Lee did ok.
    De Leon was excellent as was Blanton, and I hope I have to eat humble pie on that one.
    Avilan did ok too.

    So, some good, some bad but for me, a huge hole remains in the power department if Joc & Puig don’t come to the party.

    For the record I think Joc will start the season at AAA.

    I see an outfield of CC, Puig & Dre with Kiki & SVS platooning.
    Trayce has a shout of forcing his way in.

    If Joc & Puig struggle more onus is put on Agon & JT & only time will tell if they can get in the field & stay there.

    1. Watford I too, think we’re going to need Puig, to be able to drive in runs. I don’t see Puig, hitting more the 20, 25 HRs, a season, but that is ok, if he hits, and has a lot of doubles and triples, and hits consistently.

      I don’t like Howie leading off, because he hit in to many important runs last year. But if Puig could come through, it would be ok to have Howie in the lead off position. Howie is not my guy for that, but Roberts has been having Howie hit in that position.

      If Puig can be the Puig, of 2013, and the first half of 2014, that would help the Dodgers be so much better. Puig has been hitting more up the middle, then he did last year, and when Puig is doing well, he does hit to the middle, and right side, quite a bit.
      What makes Puig look so bad, is that he doesn’t seem to recogize the spin on the ball, when the pitch comes in. I would just chalk that up, to just being spring training, and the pitchers are ahead, but this has been something, that Puig has had trouble with. I don’t know if this is a problem for
      Puig,because he was rushed up, from the minors, or because Puig, had not played at the top level in Cuba, or Puig had only played at the top level, for a very short time. I could be wrong, about this, but I think pitch recognision, comes much easier, with experience.

      If Puig can be as good as he once was, that would take Agon, and Turner, to even a higher level, and give Seager better at bats.
      Talking about Seager, was that Cory’s first two hits of spring training yesterday? It seems like everyone, thinks that Cory doesn’t feel pressure, because he doesn’t show it outwardly, but that is not true. .Just because Cory doesn’t show it on the outside, that doesn’t mean, he doesn’t feel any pressure. Not all people exhibit pressure, in the same way, and Seager might be one of these people. I’m glad that Cory has Roberts to take care of him, this year. Because Pederson wasn’t that lucky last year, but at least Mattingly is finally gone, and Joc will get more help this year. I think Roberts, already knows that Cory does feel pressure, so I think he will make sure, that Cory doesn’t put to much pressure, on himself.

      I do have a question about Wood, and I am not trying to be funny, why does Wood, and Wood’s pitches, look so slow? It looks like batters, have so much time, to decide whether they want to swing at his pitches. And it looks like batters can adjust at the last minute, and still hit Wood pretty hard. I know this was just spring training, but is Wood that slow?

  6. What concerns me about Pederson is what he did this winter. It looks to me like he did very little. The change he made should be second nature to him right now. You cannot be batting right now and thinking about your mechanics. To think about your mechanics and hit the ball is nearly impossible. I do not see him making the team out of ST. There certainly is going to be an opportunity for someone to make this team.

  7. This 2016 squad is terrible. I said, 2016….not 2017/2018. Watford, my doubts never left regarding this hodge podge of injury riddled arms, a lineup that finished in the bottom third in 2015 and that bullpen…..we don’t make the playoffs without Greinke last year and remember, we should have played a wild card game as the Cardinals Cubs and Pirates all had a better record. They deserved it much more than us.

    We can keep talking pitching all we want, yes, Deleon and Urias time is coming but it’s not going to help this horrendous lineup, or should I say, lifeless lineup. All the Puig haters better hope he shows up this year, he is the only saving grace. Looks like the whole “Joc revival” is losing its thunder, who would have ever guessed? The kid proved to be one of the worst at bats for 6 fricken months last year.

    Go ahead, check out the 2015 Royals offensive stats verse ours, I dare you, I won’t keep posting them.

    This team is not going anywhere near the playoffs. I don’t listen to projections, I go by what I saw last year and what I saw was a bunch of doo doo.

    1. It’s a little early to throw in the towel on the whole season, but I hear you. A lot of the doubts/concerns some of us have were not addressed in the offseason. But every season brings surprises. At least we have a couple of other guys who can play center and some of our vaunted prospects are closer to major-league ready.

  8. You’re on Bobby.

    My opinion: Joc has a strange looking stance, hard to see exactly where his feet were from our vantage point, but he looked slightly open with his front foot pointing toward the SS. I don’t know if that’s new, but it looked odd to me. Though his hands are higher, he still waggles the bat and while I don’t recommend that, it’s ok if when you begin your launch it has stopped twirling. His is not, it’s still waggling and I think that is contributing to his loop, getting the bat to the ball late. I was talking with Tim about that at the game and asked him to watch the difference between what Joc does and what AGon does. AGon does what I would recommend Pederson do – he basically lays the bat on his shoulder with his hands high, kinda like what Goldschmidt does but less exaggerated, then just before delivery he lifts his hands, and the bat, up a few inches with very little movement. I call it a quiet bat. If Joc did just that it would help. The second thing that might help him is to keep both hands on the bat through the swing. Like a golf swing. You don’t see see golfers letting go with the top hand. While it’s true the ball is gone by then, I think the process alone would shorten his swing. He needs to get fly balls out of his head and start producing line drives back through the middle and to the opposite field. If he continues on his current path, his career will be in jeopardy. He did look frustrated yesterday. And yes, he is taking pitches. He looked at a strike one fastball that was thigh high on the inner half. Those are the pitches he must attack. We know you have a good eye. What we don’t know is if you can hit. At this point in Spring Training, don’t walk if you get something you can drive.

    Hey truth. Good to see you posting. While I’m not sure I see the offense the way you do, I surely do understand what it is you are saying and why you’re saying it. This year can go either way but without both Puig and Pedserson having solid years, it’s hard to see this team going to the playoffs. I’m not at all confident, but I’m still hopeful.

    1. Badger, I can’t disagree at all with what you are saying about Joc. Stances and approaches can change from player to player. What works for AGon would not necessarily work for others. A year or so ago, I saw a guy on TV called the “Batting Stance Guy”, where he mimics various hitters’ stance and approach. He mimicked Jeff Bagwell and one of my favorites, Kevin Youkilis. I was intrigued and discovered an article on different (strange?) batting stances. It’s fun and funny. http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/66068242/

      The initial stance and approach are not as important as the load and hands to the ball. Hitting is muscle memory, so it needs to be consistent. Bagwell and Youkilis are totally different than AGon (and anyone else), but they all load and get hands to the ball in a consistent approach for them. Joc right now has no clue what he is going to do as he approaches the plate. He looks lost and absolutely without any confidence. I agree with Rick Monday, he needs to find a stance and approach that he is comfortable with, and can duplicate every at bat. Then spend hours and hours and hours and hours in the cage until it becomes natural and routine. If he doesn’t get there, I am afraid that he will end up back in AAA. You cannot learn to be a ML hitter at the ML level.

      I also agree that a natural left hand hitter should never let an inside thigh level pitch go. That is in their wheelhouse. In ST, every hitter should walk up to the plate and want to hit. Be aggressive. There are no awards for high OBP in ST because of walks. Put the bat on the ball. If I was teaching hitting to youth ball again, I would use AGon’s approach. It’s simple and direct.

      On a separate hitter, it was great to see Cory Seager hit a line drive up the middle. He adjusts, which is why I do not believe he will ever go into a prolonged slump. He’s young and will continue to lose focus now and then, and I believe that is what led up to his defensive problems yesterday.

      1. I read that Willie Davis could imitate just about any player’s stance. Finally he found one he was comfortable with.

    2. I never left Badger, the unjust optimism has just been overwhelming. Looks like Rick was ran off, I won’t be. Hopefully he comes back, he made to much sense.

  9. Is there a webcast for today’s game discovered somewhere by somebody? I did a search and found none, but the spring webcast schedule I found didn’t show yesterday’s game either. Ya gotta think that the one’s calling the shots on matters as such are not Dodgers fans. I’m guessing they’re just estimating how to middle more $ from us. Hey middleman, PHUCH-U!

  10. Is there a webcast for today’s game discovered somewhere by somebody? I did a search and found none, but the spring webcast schedule I found didn’t show yesterday’s game either. Ya gotta think that the one’s calling the shots on matters as such are not Dodgers fans. I’m guessing they’re just estimating how to middle more $ from us. Hey middleman, PHUCK-U!

      1. Ok, I will.
        .
        Just so u know, I already did 3 of the 5 push-ups do if I lose I only have……… 3 more to do.

  11. Hey Watford, or Tim rather, I know you’re 6′ even. What I didn’t know is how tall Kershaw is. In that shot he appears to be leaning down to get in the camera view.

  12. Quas he’s a big fella – was looking up to him in more ways than one.

    Good to hear things are going well for you mate.

  13. I agree with many of the takes above — Pederson needs to go to the batting cages, AND to start in MINOR LEAGUE GAMES for several weeks now. Forget the main game of the day — just to the back fields and play in one or two minor league games a day.

    If I were the 10th fan GM for the Dodgers — I might have signed EITHER Utley OR Kendrick and share it with Hernandez. That would have saved $7 to $ 10 million on that decision. Herrera as the backup for several positions.

    If Pederson does not get his game together — send him down to AAA and work Trayce Thompson in as the centerfielder.

    Also — I would not have resigned A.J. Ellis for another season, but gone with Austin Barnes. Ellis could have gone to AAA or AA to coach and play 1 or 2 games a week in case he was needed for injury in LA. That would have saved about $4 million.

    Then with the $10 + $4 == or $14 million saved — gone for a better pitcher in the rotation.

    1. This year’s pitching staff will benefit from Ellis’ play calling. That is the weakest part of Barnes game as a catcher.

  14. I saw an interesting batting drill on one of the minor league fields. The pitching screen was about 20′ from home plate. I saw Meises, DeCastro, Scavuzzo, Jones and others hitting and it was definitely a quick bat drill. Most guys had a little trouble squaring it up, but drills like that would help Joc. It looked they were trying to hit 100 mph fastballs. Most balls in play went the other way. Jones hit what looked like a pop up to center and it carried to the warning track. He has incredible power. I wonder where he will play.

    1. Did you guys see that someone said, that Barnes is almost a better defensive catcher, then Grandal? I think they only gave Grandal the edge, because of his framing skills, but other then that, they said that Barnes was a better defensive catcher. I actually thought that Barnes was suppose to be a good framer, because of his height, because he can bring his glove lower, for lower balls, in the strike zone. Barnes hasn’t impressed me, when he has caught on the big team, but that isn’t much to go on. And they said that Grandal’s bat, had a higher upside. I don’t remember where I read this, but I’m sure everyone reads the articles I read. Maybe it was in ESPN.

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