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Spring Training News and Notes For Week One

Yasiel Puig

All Dodgers are now present and accountable at Camelback Ranch as spring training is in full tilt. We’re just about a week away from real live baseball being played. It seems almost unreal how fast time flies. It feels almost like yesterday that the Dodgers were being embarrassed in the postseason by an Irish ginger infielder. Oh how the time flies. There’s not a whole lot going on in camp at the moment. There have been a few news and notes to catch up on this week. In case you missed anything, here they are.

Vin Scully has decided he wants to call the Dodger’s opening day game at San Diego on April 4. The game will be also televised on ESPN at 405 pm PST. Scully has expressed his desire to expand his schedule during his farewell season, according to Bill Shaikin Bill Shaikin of the La Times. He wants to make at least one trip to San Diego, San Francisco, and Anaheim. While Scully will call the opening day game he won’t be calling any of the other games in the opening series. Scully will also be calling four exhibition games this season with the first being televised on March 25 against the Giants at Camelback Ranch.

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Other Dodgers battling minor injuries include pitcher Brooks Brown who has a sore shoulder, and Caleb Dirks has a bad back. Josh Ravin is still recovering from having the flu and strep throat which caused him to miss almost a week.

Former Dodger Tony Gwynn Jr. joins Dodgertalk. The son of late hall of famer Tony Gwynn Sr. will join David Vassegh, for the postgame show on AM570. Tim Cates will be hosting the Dodgers on Deck pregame show. Also preparing to make regular appearances will be former GM Ned Colletti, Alanna Rizzo, and broadcasters Charley Steiner and Rick Monday.

The Dodgers signed 41-year old senior Jamey Wright to a minor league contract this week with an invite to major league spring training. Apparently he had been working out with Clayton Kershaw and decided to take his Viagra so he could give making the major league roster one last shot before hitting the old folk’s home. Wright had previously pitched for the Dodgers in 2012, and 2014. So this would be his third stint with the club. However it is highly unlikely he would make the active roster. Fortunately for Jamey most of the spring games start at 1 pm and end early which would allow him to grab the early bird special at Denny’s before bedtime at 9 pm.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

36 thoughts on “Spring Training News and Notes For Week One

  1. We’ll miss Kevin Kennedy. Presumably he was just a little too honest for some tastes? Or maybe this generation of Dodger fans would prefer not to listen to someone more knowledgable than Vassegh or Rizzo?

    1. I will also miss David Kennedy. He is a wonderful baseball man.
      He once told one of the all powerful baseball websites that they were misreading Jansen’ s pitches. Their numbers were off 🙂

    2. Kevin Kennedy is the best. That’s a loss if he’s not on any more. I would have to endure negotiating the stupid I Heart Radio site just so I could listen to the podcasts. When you’ve been around as long as some of us have – and I’m not the oldest guy in the world – you get tired of listening to the same rah rah cliched attempt at analysis. Kennedy spoke to the listener like a manager would to his trainers and players….and to other baseball people. You got a sense when listening to him that you were a part of the inside baseball world.

      If Junior carries himself and speaks anything like his dad, then I like him a lot already…..Sr.was one of my favorite players…maybe the favorite….but I don’t think his kid he can replace Kennedy.

      1. are the comments down on the site? I had two in the other discussion that got zapped into the ether. This is a test to see if I can actually post

  2. It isn’t time yet to put in our final predictions for the year but for now I would go with 95 wins.
    Here is my 25 to start the season. Where two players are listed the second player would temporarily replace the first player that was not able to start the season due to injury or suspension.
    1 Grandal
    2 Gonzales
    3 Kendrick
    4 Turner
    5 Seager
    6 Ethier
    7 Pederson
    8 Puig
    9 Ellis
    10 SVS
    11 Utley/Frias
    12 Hernandez
    13 Thompson
    14 Kershaw
    15 Ryu/Lee
    16 Kazmir
    17 Maeda
    17 Anderson
    19 Jansen
    20 Wood
    21 Howell
    22 Garcia
    23 Hatcher
    24 Blanton
    25 Baez
    Yes, Crawford is not on the team and Wood replaces Avilla to start the season. I have a long reliever filling in for Utley while Utley is on suspension, if that is the case.

    1. CC if not on the DL will be on this team. His contract is so large the FO cannot simply cut him, and he is almost impossible to trade. That is just a fact of life that all Dodger fans have to face. No amount of wishing or hoping is going to make it otherwise. No front office in baseball can afford to just eat 41 million dollars….

    2. Bum there is no way that Utley will be suspended. There is so much tape on players, that have slid even harder and slid beyond second base, that baseball didn’t do a thing to. There is no way that the players union would allow baseball, to suspend Utley, as well as any court, if a court was ruling on this. Baseball can’t suspend a guy, for breaking a rule, before there was even a rule. And I can’t stand Joe Torre for falling to the pressure, because this happened to a team in the east. I believe if it had been a Dodger second baseman, nothing would be done, and history shows this bias. And Joe Torre was told to slide like this as a player, and probably told his players, to slide like this, so Torre should have acknowledged this.

    3. I don’t believe that Crawford gets DFA’d. Thompson won’t make the team. Ryu will start the season on the DL so Wood will be 5th starter and Avilan makes the team out of camp. I agree with you that Frias starts the year on the roster if Utley is suspended.

      They win about 90. They won 92/94/92 in 3 years with Greinke and won’t win as many without him.

  3. I’ll go for anything after 90W…
    CC will be my starting LF on Opening day…
    If I had to pick a dark horse to make the 25 out of ST it would be DeLeon

  4. I missed the story on the newer Dodger baseball cap. What is with the “D”? Is it just for practice, or Sunday’s or all the time?

    1. It is for spring training only. All the teams in the majors are wearing special spring unis, and caps…..they make more money that way…..Brooks Brown released this morning due to lingering arm problems..

    2. Kanas City has the cool spring hats, they have a gold crown above the white KC. The spoils of being the champs

  5. Kevin Kennedy was one of the better baseball analysts around. He was not a homer, and he always spoke his mind. He will be missed. Just another way the new ownership and FO is putting their personal stamp on the team. Next year after Vin retires, the broadcasts of the games will take on a whole new sound. Of course Charlie and Rick will still be around, and that is good. Nomar, and Orel help keep the broadcasts well informed as they are pretty smart guys. But we will all miss Vin’s special story’s, and backgrounds. One last hurrah for the greatest baseball announcer ever.

  6. I respect Kennedy’s opinion. I was waiting for him to be named manager at some point. He was honest, almost to a fault. Wasn’t meant to be.
    For those who might be interested, there is a reference to a Fangraphs article re Kazmir on another thread. I chose not to respond there, but I will here. That same site, fangraphs, projects Kazmir to pitch 160+ innings of 3.58 ERA and win 10 games. I think that’s about right, give or take a few innings. We are going from a #2 that gave us 222.2 innings of 1.66 and 19 wins to what Kazmir projects. Yeah, yeah, Greinke won’t do it again yada yada, but my point isn’t about him now, the point is about the team now. Just do some math here. How does this team win more games than it did last year by getting older and losing a Cy Young runner up? All things being equal we don’t win 92 again, and all things ARE NOT EQUAL! The Giants and the Diamondbacks are both better now. They will win more games than they did last year and not ALL of those games will come against San Diego and Colorado. Some are going to come against us. Those two teams are fired up to come after our Division crown. I am not the only one who can see this.
    Watching the FAZ rope-a-dope float like a butterfly sting like cognac and creme de menthe management style, I can say with a degree of certainty this team as it is currently constructed will not be the one we see mid summer. It will continue to evolve. If they are serious about contending, the pitching moves that were not consummated last year will likely need to be done at the deadline. If Puig and Pederson’s cranial sphincter excision is successful, we should be better at plating runs. If they flounder again, this offense could be mediocre. We still don’t have any .400 OBP guys at the top and a Gordon-like presence would be of considerable help.
    If we are serious about competing with the better teams in the National League we need better performance out of several players. Maybe Roberts & Co. are indeed the answer. I won’t be surprised if they are, or if they are not. Either way it’s going to be a very interesting year.
    I’m heading down in a couple of weeks. I hope to meet up with a few former posters down there. I also intend to spend a day over at Salt River Fields. I know that may upset some readers here, but tough. I have no problem scouting our opposition and being honest about what I think. I think the Dbacks will be formidable and I think more than one poster in this place has their panties in a bunch about both the midgets and the snakes. Lighten up. It’s baseball, not foreign policy.

    1. Projections are pretty much worthless. These are the same guys who’ve had the Royals under 80 wins the last 3 years. I’d rather have Greinke back, but it’s not happening. The team needs to score runs to win and the pen needs to do its job since nobody pitches complete games anymore.

    2. Badger I hate when people use that argument, that Greinke won’t be as good, as he was last year. What they are forgetting, is that Greinke had three really good years with the Dodgers, not just one year. Greinke dominated the National league West, when he was with the Dodgers, and had great stats at Dodger stadium. I know that the Dback’s stadium is more a hitter’s park, and the ball flys out of there, but did you see how Greinke pitched Goldy, in the Dbacks stadium last year? He dominated Goldy, and struck him out three times. Greinke’s era might not be under three next year, but I don’t under estimate him. And did everyone see in Dodgers Digest, that they gave some good numbers, on strike out rates, and walks, but failed to mention just how many games, the Dodger’s bullpen game up last year. It is nice to have high strike out rates, but when a team’s bullpen ranks close to the bottom, of all the bullpen’s in baseball, like the Dodgers have, the last couple of years, it is right to have concerns, and especially, with the Dodger’s current rotation, that is comprised of pitchers, that don’t pitch deep into games. I just hope that the experience of last year, and new coaches, with new eyes, can get the most out of the Dodger’s bullpen this year. I kind of think, that might be just, wishful thinking, but what else can we do. This is the same bullpen, that pitched well in the first month of the season, and then gave away 16 games, in the rest of the season. Like Bum has already said, it is terrible to lose a game in the ninth, especially when a starting pitcher, has pitched so well and deep into a game. And this year, the bullpen will be tested even farther then before, because the current starting pitching, may not be able to pitch deep into games, like Kershaw and Greinke did. I just hope that this bullpen will be better this year, or we will all be sitting at the edge of our seats all year long.

    3. Badger I did want to say something else to you about Joc. I looked at the film on him again, and you are right, he still has a long swing. He is not swinging as hard, which is good, but his swing is still long. I read that Joc did hit in the winter, and got help by his former coach, who taught him, that big swing. He has worked with the Dodger’s new hitting coach, but not that much yet. Badger what do you see different about Joc’s swing?

      1. To answer your question about Joc – I can’t say from that short video. I know what I saw last year, albeit from a distance. I addressed this last year and my opinion hasn’t changed. For most of ’15 he was approaching nearly every at bat, every pitch, as if he was in the home run contest. Pitchers began eating him for lunch fairly early. If he were my student I would give him strike one to do anything he wanted to do. After that he has to show discipline. And when he is hitting with two strikes he has to change his entire approach. Shorten up, protect, don’t try to pull, go back through the box and use the entire field. I saw him do that a couple of times, with success, but it wasn’t something he did often enough. Look no further than his strike out totals. He just has to cut down on those numbers and with discipline he can. If he listens, he will be an outstanding Major League hitter.

    4. “For those who might be interested, there is a reference to a Fangraphs article re Kazmir on another thread. I chose not to respond there, but I will here. That same site, fangraphs, projects Kazmir to pitch 160+ innings of 3.58 ERA and win 10 games. I think that’s about right, give or take a few innings. We are going from a #2 that gave us 222.2 innings of 1.66 and 19 wins to what Kazmir projects. Yeah, yeah, Greinke won’t do it again yada yada, but my point isn’t about him now, the point is about the team now. Just do some math here. How does this team win more games than it did last year by getting older and losing a Cy Young runner up? All things being equal we don’t win 92 again, and all things ARE NOT EQUAL! The Giants and the Diamondbacks are both better now. They will win more games than they did last year and not ALL of those games will come against San Diego and Colorado. Some are going to come against us. Those two teams are fired up to come after our Division crown. I am not the only one who can see this.”

      You’re right. They’re not equal. You’re cherry picking data. Ok, If you are going to use the Fangraphs projections on Kazmir, then subsequently use the same projections on Greinke, who is PROJECTED to have a 3.31 ERA, pitch 209 innings and have a 4.2 WAR. …and he’s projected to go 13-10, not have 19 wins. The team is replacing that 4.2 WAR with two guys who are projected to contributre 2.7 and 2.5 WAR, have mid 3.00s ERAs and give the team 178 and 162 innings. Two decent birds in the hand are worth maybe more than one really good one in the bush.

      And the quality at the back end has been hashed out numerous times already, but I’ll do so one more time for emphasis. I think it’s safe to assume that the back and of the rotation of this current team will outperform by a wide margin the back end of the rotation last year, which consisted of the likes of Bolsinger, who wasn’t terrible at first, but faded; Frias, who was sometimes terrible; Scott Baker, who is still anonymous minor league fodder; and Lee, who got shelled in his one start. The FAZ haters keep pining for Greinke and that 1-2 punch the team had, never failing to mention the barely winning record the team had after the 1 and 2 slots. Well, isn’t it important that the Dodgers attempt to win and have a competitive advantage in all five starting pitching slots? If the Dodgers lose a win or two from the #2 slot, can’t they make it up and more by having a competitive advantage in the #4 and #5 slots?

      Maybe all of you FAZ haters are right. Maybe Freidman and Co. are just too smart for their own good and try to be “too fine” to use a pitching analogy. Instead of laboring over the details and overanalyzing to squeeze out that last drop of projected value – instead of being policy wonks, maybe they should just take the Trump approach. “What? The Dbags offered you 6 years at 34 million? Those leightweit chockers!! Fuck it! We’ll give you 7 years at 40 million!! …and we’ll sue them for defamation, too. We’ll throw away prospects for a rental at the trade deadline, too. Fuck it! We can always buy some more Cubans. Bankruptcy Smankruptcy. “

  7. Good takes MJ.
    I’m hoping that with the experience of ’15 in their resume the young, good arms in our pen will pitch better. Having Maddux around can’t hurt with their confidence. They might actually become a strength.
    Projections are guesses snider, but they are educated guesses, made by people who think like, and use the same metric formulas as our guys FAZ do. As for Kazmir, at age 32 why would I believe he would do something he hasn’t done since he was 23, and that is pitch 200 innings. This guy has only 3 complete games in his entire career and none since ’14. He’s a 5-6 inning guy, as is EVERYBODY in our rotation not named Kershaw, and that means our pen is going to get used early and often. Kazmir should keep us close, but many of those games of course will be no decision for him. Keep in mind he was not a #2 last year. He was a mid rotation guy. He’s now being asked to follow Kershaw.

    1. I expect to see the F&Z Shuffle from the minors to the majors to the minors to the majors — with pitchers going and coming all season.

    2. I don’t want Kazmir in the #2 spot and see him as a better than average #3 and an outstanding #4. I think if a team can’t match up at the #2, then be better in the #s 3, 4, and 5 spots. Let Lee or Wood be the #2 guy until Ryu returns or a trade is made.

      1. While on my daily five mile walk, I was talking to myself about this exact point. I think it behooves the Dodgers to just place Wood into the #2 slot in the interim until Ryu is ready to start. That way the #3, #4, and #5 LAD pitchers would be in their projected slot in the rotation. I think Maeda goes #3 because he is RHP breaking up the 4 LHP, leaving Kazmir and Anderson as #4 and #5.

        1. Good idea, but you still will see 4 lefty’s in a row after that….but the Sox used a 4 lefty rotation last year…have to just wait and see…

        2. AC isn’t Kazmir kind of like a right hander, because of a certain pitch he throws is good aganist rightys. I think it is a change up, but I am not sure.

  8. Well I guess Ryu will be coming back in May to pitch. I guess he expects to start about twenty games and 150 innings. This was just anounced. I hope that Ryu is doing fine, and this was the orginal target date. They have been having a nightly show about spring training, every nite during the week, and it sounds like there is a good feeling in the air, especially with the younger manager, and coaches. They are blasting music throughout the spring drills, and practice. And Bager I asked about Joc’s swing, because the article said that Joc has a more compact swing.

  9. Bum if that happens, the Dodgers are in good shape. Ryu really pitched a good game, in the last game he pitched in St Louis. He was even ready to pitch another inning, but Mattingly took him out. That was the game that the umpire was terrible. The Dodgers really didn’t have a chance, with the way that umpire was calling strikes and balls. I thought that game was over, before it was actually over. I thought the Dodgers would win in LA, but that was it.

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