Spring Notes: Alex Wood Suffers Ankle Tweak, Walker Buehler Has Additional Testing

Alex Wood

Dodgers spring training camp has officially begun with full workouts scheduled for the beginning of next week. Exhibition games are just around the corner with the first game against the White Sox scheduled for February 23rd. There’s not much to report during the first couple of weeks of spring camp though. The players show up and take their physicals. They practice. The pitchers throw some bullpen sessions and the hitters take batting practice. That’s about it.

So unless you love to watch players do jumping jacks and run around Camelback Ranch, it’s kind of boring. Of course knowing that we’re only days away from real live Dodger baseball and the new season is so close to getting underway that you can smell the Dodger dogs is super exciting.

The Dodgers are looking to set some new records here. Only two days into camp and we’re already hearing injury news on two pitchers. Fear not Dodger fam, they’re ok. Apparently Alex Wood had his bullpen session pushed back after injuring his ankle. He hurt the ankle during warm-ups, but according to the club he will be fine. He’s also made some dietary changes which seem to have helped him feel better.

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Rookie Walker Buehler had to undergo additional medical testing but the club doesn’t seem worried at all about it. Buehler only missed one day of practice and is expected back tomorrow for a full slate. Apparently the problem has nothing to do with his arm.

Wood and Buehler are expected to be important parts of the Dodger’s pitching staff in 2018. Wood should be the third starter behind Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill. Wood had a fantastic breakout season in 2017 finishing with a 16-3 record and a 2.72 ERA across 152.1 innings pitched. Wood struck out 151 and walked only 38 while whiffing 8.9/9 in 27 starts.

Buehler the 23-year old right hander is considered the Dodger’s top young pitching prospect in the organization. He was recalled last September during roster expansion for his first taste of MLB action. Unfortunately he sucked as he posted a 7.71 ERA over 9.1 innings pitched while allowing 8 earned runs on 11 hits. He did strike out 12 and walk only two during his 8 appearances. He should be competing for a spot in the rotation, at the least looking to make the opening day staff. The Dodgers are expecting big things from these two hurlers and so are we. So let’s hope they remain healthy.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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45 thoughts on “Spring Notes: Alex Wood Suffers Ankle Tweak, Walker Buehler Has Additional Testing

  1. Per Heyman:

    stuck in LA: matt kemp is thrilled to be a dodger again. but for how long? dodgers people can’t believe he’s still there. and they will be even more shocked if he’s still with them opening day.

  2. Quiet in here.

    #Dodgers Tom Koehler: “I couldn’t tell you what axis my ball spins on. I don’t know what the spin rate on my curveball is. I just know I throw it and if it’s a good one, they usually don’t hit it and if it’s a bad one, it usually gets hit”

    I like this guy already.

    Not much is expected of Utley this year. He projects to slash .244/.312/.388. I cant help but wonder what a 25 year old Jake Peter would do with the same number of at bats, most of which would come against opposite side pitching. He projects to hit .238 in 1 at bat, which would make history. The signing of Utley makes me wonder why they traded for Peter. Must be because they anticipate a mid season Utley flat tire. I think they still have 25 year old switch hitting Rule 5 middle infield pickup Angelo Mora too. He hit .291 between AA and AAA last year. Why did they pick him up? I think second base will be the weak link in our lineup. Oh well. Even Division winners have to have somebody hit before the pitcher.

    1. Jake Peter is Kike, he’s Brock Stewart, he’s Morrow? he could be Koehler. He could be Taylor (but who is?)

      On the other side he is Ramos, or Beachy. Wilmer Font or Granderson.

      He’s depth and a potential option to be used if needed and hopefully to come through. Or not.

      1. He could be Kiké as he has played multiple positions in the minors, including center field. I don’t think he’s those other guys as he doesn’t pitch. And nobody is Taylor.

        I’m also curious about Mora. He’s a switch hitting middle infielder who can hit a little and can run. He doesn’t walk much, but he’s from the Dominican and those guys swing at everything. Maybe if he knows he has a shot at the big leagues he can learn to be more selective. He’s a Rule 5 pickup and one has to wonder why FAZ would bother.

          1. Bluto

            If Kemp is in great shape, and that along with the team shifts, make him an adequate defender, what is your beef with the guy?

            They are taking Toles slow in spring training, and there is no way Joc or Verdugo, are going to give the team the offensive production, that Kemp can.

            Kemp could be our perfect fifth hitter.

            Take a look at what Kemp did, and Freddy Freeman did, in 2016.

            Kemp could provide the same protection for Cody, like he did for Freddy Freeman.

            Our team needed a fifth hitter badly, last year.

            And although Puig had a pretty good season, he didn’t do much when he was hitting fifth last year, so we do need a fifth hitter in our line up, to protect Cody, and lengthen our line up.

            When was the last time we had one of our outfielders hit 35 HRs, like Kemp did in 2016?

          2. I have no beef. I just don’t care to get invested in a player or a scenario that probably has zero chance of happening.

            According to people who cover the team, the team doesn’t want him!

            Why create silly narratives about his upside and potential? Who cares if he could bat fifth or tenth? The team doesn’t want him around.

            Whether the reason is bad defense, bad attitude, blocking the young kids or whatever, I don’t care.

        1. Mora is on the OKC roster as a AAA rule 5 pick up. He is listed as a SS. Could be insurance for Corey. They also have Solano who was with the Yankees and plays multiple positions on the non roster list. I do not know why they re-signed Utley other than his clubhouse presence. But his contract is for 2 years at 1 million a year. I know these injury’s to Buehler and Wood are minor, but it is never good news when 2 days in you have guys missing practice. A J Ellis signed with the Padres.

          1. Bluto

            I understand where you are coming from, but actually, you can read plenty of thoughts from Friedman, and Roberts, that are saying, just the opposite.

            I grant you that everyone in the Dodger organization have their spiel, when talking about one of their players.

            But I think they know far more then Heyman, who really follows the Mets, more then any other team.

            And I could see Friedman loving the fact, that Kemp’s upside, is sky high this year, for the Dodgers, especially on this off setting, salary dump with the Braves.

            Not only does that help the Dodgers this year, it would make Kemp easier to move, next year.

          2. Of course they say the opposite MJ!

            These are value focused managers trying to trade him.

            What do you want him them to say on the record?

            That the team acquired Kemp just for cap purposes? That he’s blocking key assets with a lesser cost (thus higher value)? That they may have to cut him?

            Who would trade for him, if they were explicit with that information? What fanbase would love their team getting a player with that banter behind him.

            The people who team executives talk to on and off the record are nearly unanimous that the team has little to NO interest in retaining Kemp. That speaks more in volume than your taking the public statements at face value.

            Obviously if the team keeps Kemp and he does well it’s a good thing. Nobody seems to think that will or would happen.

  3. I heard some idiot on another blog thinks Grandal can hit 35 home runs. Maybe over two years, if he gets enough at bats. I’ve yet to hear any metrics nerd explain why passed balls don’t count as errors. I did read they are kept as pitching stats, which makes no sense. A passed ball is on the catcher, not the pitcher. And I predict one day balls in the dirt blocked by the catcher will actually count and be considered in defensive runs saved by a catcher. Grandal may be All Conference in fooling poor umpires, but he is junior varsity in keeping balls from going to the backstop. I got Barnes as my starter until one of those catching prospects steps in. I traded Grandal for starting pitching already.

    “Minor League Rule 5”.

    Yeah. I know. What’s the strategy behind this move? If this guy can play, why the .240 Utley? Is Mora, who can play 3 infield positions and in the outfield, going to replace Banana Man when he’s traded to a Florida team?

    I’m rooting for Kemp to earn the starting LF job, but I got a feeling even if he crushes it in ST he won’t start. The nerds don’t like him. One thing I’ve learned about those who think in algorithms – the mind is as narrow as the focus. I think Roberts, a player, is more open minded than FAZ, pencil pushing wannabe athletes. FAZ will look to move Kemp no matter what.

    1. As far as i can tell, the only reason the team likes Utley around is his presence and attitude.

      It’s definitely not for his production.

      1. Bluto
        Surely you know that the vast majority of what comes out of the Dodger FO are lies and misconception? They tell you what you want to hear. They are the worst in what human beings should be. I would bet money Kemp will be the left fielder on opening day barring injury. He is better than anyone else the team has. They also do not care about blocking anybody. End of story.

          1. Bluto
            I am happiest when the games start and I can see baseball again. Sorry to be so depressing, I know it is not any of the commentors fault. I do not have any confidence in the FO and the 3 years or so they have been here I do not see anything that is earth shattering they they have done but on almost every premier player I hear that they are in the mix. The media says they are too but we all know the media are a bunch of liars. I do not think their game is to be in the mix for those types of players so they are very very vanilla. They bet on the come and the garbage pile. Sometime, (I don’t know when) it is all going to backfire and we will be looking at a less than average team. Most of the team is old Colletti players and the farm is players that were assembled before FAZ, so why would anyone have faith in them. I know I know they are winning, true, but I just outlined why. The biggest reason I do not like them is I feel that when they let a player go or make a trade of a fan favorite, they act like they enjoy it and that makes me angry.

          2. I don’t know the media are a bunch of liars. I know the media is lied to all day every day. People just don’t value truth anymore. And the higher up you go on the ladder the less truth you will find.

            I’m with you on FAZ just fluffing the pillow. We are where we are because of the backbone of this team and that has been around longer than FAZ. I am still waiting for the big deal maneuver that brings difference makers. The best I can say is they haven’t f’d up a good thing yet.

          3. Package,

            The team had the best record in MLB.

            The team was one game from winning the World Series.

            The team has a top 10 farm system despite picking at the bottom of the draft for the past half-decade and being under signing restrictions for 3 of the last 4 years.

            This isn’t a glass half-empty thing. It’s a glass 90% full thing. If you can’t be happy now….

    2. Bluto

      I already gave you that, when I said I will grant you that, that everyone in the Dodgers organization, have their spiel.

      This is baseball, so non of us know what is going to happen, throughout the season.

      But that is why baseball is the best!

      But it would sure be nice to finally get something out of leftfield this year.

      I would hate to have to make another trade, at the trade deadline, for another outfielder.

      Because our luck has not been good at all, in that department.

  4. Well so far I have read nothing out of spring except praise for Kemp. From his team mates and coaches. If the Dodgers do not want the guy just release him then because the only trade I see being talked about is Kemp for Braun who brings even less to the conversation. Both teams are stacked with outfielders, so that deal makes no sense what so ever, especially with the Brewers bringing in Yelich and Cain. If Kemp is as committed as is being reported, he can be a huge asset on offense. Trading the guy just to get rid of him is down right stupid. See what he has first because he is a far better option than the others on that roster.

  5. Bluto: “That the team acquired Kemp just for cap purposes? That he’s blocking key assets with a lesser cost (thus higher value)? That they may have to cut him?”

    Yes, they have already made that fact clear to Matt Kemp himself! Kemp was told the reason for this trade was salary reasons. Now, if Kemp proves everyone wrong and plays well, then hats off to him. But he knows very well the initial reason the trade was made. In fact, EVERYONE knows why this trade was made. Nobody has hidden this fact

    1. Didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t, but Bobby if you read some of the posts on this blog you’d think the team acquired Mike Schmidt for a bunch of trash.

      They acquired trash for trash, and want to get rid of their trash.

      1. all true, but the trash we acquired has the potential to provide way more value than the trash we traded away. (more valuable trash?)

        If Kemp sucks or is a jerk, we just waive him, and the trade was still an overall benefit because of the luxury tax savings and roster spots created. Plus we can play Toles or Joc or Verdugo.

        But if Kemp doesn’t suck, then we all of the sudden have some really nice options. Kemp has a decent chance of not being useless. The 3 salaries we traded had a much much much higher chance of being useless. This trade was good for that reason alone.

  6. Little blurb on twitter today. Tim Lincecum is meeting with Dodger officials this week as is Jake Arietta. I find that interesting…..not sure if it is true, but that’s what the story is…Lincecum hit 93 during his showcase for scouts.

    1. If it’s a 93 mph splitter I’ll be impressed. He used to throw his fastball around 98 with a splitter AND a slider to go with it. I think he did what he could with such a small frame and is a risk to be able to go a full season. Reliever? Yeah, maybe, but not for a lot of innings. If he can still spin the ball down and hit his spots at 93, he could have some value.

      1. I am pretty sure that was his heater. We will see, it is all speculation right now. Nunez went back to the Sox on a 1 year deal. The Dodgers signed another LH reliever to a minor league contract.

  7. I find the times articles on the 25 best Dodgers of all time very interesting. So far they have:
    25 Junior Gilliam
    24 Tommy Davis
    23 Ron Cey
    22 Kirk Gibson
    21 Don Newcombe

    These are just the first 5. They have a new one each day. I wonder how all this will turn out? I sure remember these first five. They have a new one each day.

    1. The top of the list is almost sure to be some combination of Koufax, Robinson, Campanella……..Big D and Snider will be up there and Zack Wheat should be. Hodges, Garvey will get some play. Personally I rate Carl Furillo above Gibson. How can Gibson be one of the best Dodgers of all time? He only spent 3 years with the team and was on 1 WS Champion. Furillo played on all of the pennant winning teams in the 50’s, won a batting title, played on 2 WS winning teams and was a Dodger his entire career. If he is not on the top 25 list, it is tainted as they say. Bill Russell would make it on the strength of being a Dodger for 18 years, tying Zack Wheat and Pee Wee Reese, who also should be on the top 25. They might be interesting, but I would wait until the times gets to the guys who made Brooklyn the powerhouse it was in the late 40’s and through the 50’s. Kershaw is the only current Dodger who will get any consideration at all. I would also bet they rate Fernando and Hershiser somewhere in there…….

      1. Michael

        I think Cey should be higher then Gibson, for that same reason.

        But I don’t think Bill Russell should be rated higher, then Cey.

        1. Neither do I, but he has that longevity thing going for him as does Reese and Wheat. And he was a good player. Personally, I do not think Gibson belongs on the list at all. 1988 was his only productive season with the team, injuries slowed him down. This is a guy who barely played 300 games as a Dodger and they consider him one of the 25 greatest? Please. He was granted free agency after the 1990 season and went to the Royals. He did have one of the greatest moments in Dodger history with the Series HR, but he is not even close to a guy like Ron Fairly who spent most of his career as a Dodger and was a pretty good player.

          1. I believe that Wills will be on that list Badger. Vance won all but 7 of his 197 victory’s as a Dodger so you would think he would get some play. I just believe because it is the times that LA favorites will be chosen over guys who actually had longer careers as Dodgers. I mean Gibson was a Dodger for 3 years and good for one….sorry he is not on my list.

    2. Package

      The numbers that Ron Cey had 1977 through 1981, were impressive.

      I bet not many people would have guessed at the numbers, between Cey, Garvey, and Reggie Smith, during that time.

      Reggie had highest OPS, then Cey, then Garvey.

      Cey hit the most HRs during that time too.

      But Reggie wasn’t on the team that long, so I don’t think the HR total was fair, for Reggie.

      And Cey had the best War during those years, and Reggie was second, and then Garvey.

      Package do you live in California?

      1. Reggie was a Dodger for parts of 6 seasons. He was acquired from the Cardinals at mid season in 1976 for Joe Ferguson and 2 minor leaguers. 76 77 and 78, Reggie was a starter. 79,80 and 81 he was mostly a part time player. He hit double figures in HR’s all but his last season in Dodger Blue with 77 and 78 the best years. He hit 32 homers in 77 part of the first Dodger quartet to hit 30 along with Cey, Baker and Garvey, and 29 in 78. In his last year 1982 in the majors he played for the SF Giants.

          1. The reason was probably because he was injured and not the starter anymore. By 1981 neither was Rick Monday. They had traded for Kenny Landreaux and he was the starting CF. Baker was still in left, But any combination of Guererro, Marshall would play right. Plus they still had Jay Johnstone and Reggie of course.

        1. Played at the fair grounds out there a few times. In 1993 they had a country fest out there. It was pretty successful and there were a lot of stars. A band I knew really well, Silver Star, had a booth out there that I ran for them so I got in free. Met Lynn Anderson and my old buddies from Costa Mesa, the Boy Howdy band was there too. I picked almost every day on one of the stages in the exhibit buildings. The coolest thing for me was meeting Richard Roundtree, yep, Shaft. He is a huge C&W fan.

  8. Latest on twitter……add Clayton Kershaw to the list of Dodgers who think Matt Kemp being with the team the entire season is a plus………Sorry, I bow to what the players think more than what those who are not in the clubhouse or the pundits say. There are a lot of guys on this team who want Matt Kemp there.

  9. I support Kemp for a shot at left. Could be a monster again for a moment. If not, dump him. Yes, Fairly was a great dodger. Give him his props, as well as Eithier who seems in danger of just disappearing. Should get better than that–he helped get us through the wilderness. Jesus, these careers and blazes in the sun are brief. We love you all!

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