Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Notes From Camelback Ranch

Here are the latest notes from Week 2 at Camelback Ranch:

Kenta Maeda, Brock Stewart, Sergio Romo faced live hitters today. Maeda added ten pounds of muscle coming into this spring. He’s also working on a new pitch – a cut fastball.

Trayce Thompson worked out with full squad, but is expected to sit out first week of Spring Training games.

Per Andy McCullough: Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch another round of live batting practice this week. If successful, look for Ryu to pitch in live games next week.

For the second day in a row, Scott Kazmir threw an extended bullpen session. He was overseen by coaches Orel Heshiser and Eric Gagné.

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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Oscar Martinez
I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.
http://alltradebait.blogspot.com/

61 thoughts on “Notes From Camelback Ranch

  1. Been reading a lot of story’s that Ryu feels better than he has in a couple of years. Kazmir says his problem right now is mechanics and that is why the extended sessions. I bought a Sports Weekly today. It has the NL spring preview with analysis on all the NL teams. Pretty interesting stuff. Zaidi says that one of the reserves will have MLB experience at SS. That means the 3 guys in line to win that job are Hernandez, Taylor and Culberson. Of the 3 Hernandez has the least experience at that position. And unless Kike has a magical spring and starts hitting again, I do not expect him to make the cut. Yes, he is versatile, but so is Culberson and he hit a lot better than Kike last year, he also has a better glove.

  2. Having a fully recovered Ryu back would be huge for this staff. I have to admit I’m skeptical.

    Interesting to hear the talk about a backup SS taking a roster spot. Seager is going to play 150 games so I hope whoever it is can hit. Culberson? Nope. Hernandez? Maybe. Taylor? .250, but of the three his glove is probably the best. Where’s a Mark Belanger when you need one.

    1. Culberson actually was the best hitter of the 3 last year. He also has the most MLB experience of the 3 and is more versatile than Taylor and a better SS than Kike. I like Charlie….

          1. Not really MJ….they have a couple of guys that can be DFA’d or just flat released if they are lousy in spring….Hatcher maybe, or Fields, Baez…the beat and the list go on.

    2. I vaguely remember seeing Mark Belanger play. Though I do remember him getting hurt in ST the one season he played for the Dodgers. Vinny always had praise for him.

      Defensively was he one of the best?

      1. The Blade was his nickname because of his thin frame. He was one of the worst hitters ever. Lifetime .228, but a wiz with the glove. Died in 1997 of lung cancer.

  3. If by any chance all starting pitchers are healthy this spring, we will have a mess on our hands. It can be a good problem, but so many times decision are based on who has a major league contract and not who are the best players. Kids are sent down because they have options. I am not sure this is the best way to make a decision. I am sure they have discussions with the kids, but if the kid is better, let him play. It would be hard for me to go back to the minors knowing I was better than some of the players they kept. I would have to do it, but I would also tell management that if I am not playing in the majors by June 1, trade me.

    1. Well I can understand that, but they are not going to release Kazmir or McCarthy simply because both have 2 years left on their contracts. They might try to trade them, but if both are healthy and Ryu is healthy also, then you have 6 starters 5 with more than 2 years left on their contracts, and absolutely no room for Urias, Stewart or Stripling. Not to mention Wood. That basically means that those who have options left, the kids, are going to start the year in AAA. Urias will be in extended spring no matter what probably. If they are healthy, and this is a huge if, the starters who break camp will be Kersh, Hill. Maeda, Kazmir, and McCarthy, with Ryu and Stewart and Stripling all in AAA. Ryu can be sent there on re-hab.

      1. If Ryu is healthy and pitching the best, he might not go down.

        I know that is a big if, but he is under contract, just like Kazmir and McCarthy is.

        1. He still will have to build strength and innings, that is why I think he is a prime subject for Re-hab time.

      2. You are exactly right Michael. First and foremost, Dodgers Corporation is a business! Businesses always try to maximize their assets and minimize their losses. Maximizing the value of Kazmir, McCarthy and Ryu and getting something for the Dodgers remaining investment in these guys requires that they be given every chance to succeed.

        We all need to root for these three players, especially if you want to see them gone.

        1. Boxout

          You are probably right about that.

          It is so much easier to get behind Ryu, because he was good for us, and if he is able, he will get out there, and pitch.

          I can’t believe that Kazmir said he was frustrated, that they didn’t let him face the line up, the third time around.

          That just isn’t true!

          When he pitched well, he was allowed to pitch further into games.

          In fact, in that one game against the Cardinals, when he pitched well, Roberts, let him go out there, and pitch, in the top of the ninth inning.

          He wasn’t pitching the third time around, because he didn’t pitch well enough at times, to even face the order, the second time, around.

  4. what are the chances of Urias working out of the pen in the early going? Perhaps piggy-backing a starter that is very unlikely to go 6 and drawing work another day in the week?

    Does he need the work in AAA? Refinement of his arsenal or adding a 4th?

    1. Not a snowballs chance in hell. You are not going to waste a roster spot on the kid when you have 4 lefty’s who have more experience and can pitch out of the pen, and one could be the long man and spot starter….Dayton, Avilan Liberatore and Wood. That is why they unloaded Nuno, he was not needed. Urias is just 20 years old and they are going to monitor his innings for at least this year before they trust the kid to go further. Putting a starter in the pen, especially a young guy like Urias makes no sense unless he is used in long relief. The way they warm up is different, and relievers need to get ready in a hurry. Starters take their time.

    2. extended spring training.

      Innings at AAA may still, in the eyes of the front office and his agent, be put against his innings limit.

      1. Bluto

        I would think that should be obvious, shouldn’t it?

        That is also a good argument, to not keep your pitchers to long in the minors, if they are ready.

        1. Some are ready sooner than others. A lot of people forget that Urias was signed as a 17 year old kid. He is not even fully grown yet. I do not care how good you are, the major leagues is a marathon not a sprint and that kid is not ready for the marathon yet. Scott Boras is one of the smartest agents out there. He does what is best for his client, but Bellinger and Urias are still under team control and both are a long way from arbitration. They will get their money eventually as long as they develop into the players everyone thinks they are.

  5. Rye-
    Agree.

    IF, Big IF, a combination of McCarthy, Kazmir and Ryu are healthy enough to pitch then I would move Urias to the bullpen and let him get his work in there which would also limit his innings. The downside to that is that he might not keep his arm extended for a starting role if he’s in the pen for awhile.

    It’s a good problem to have but the thought that the Dodgers are going to ‘showcase’ Kazmir, McCarthy and Ryu to other teams is asinine. No one is giving up anything better than a Class A prospect and even then the Dodgers will have to eat AT LEAST half of their salaries.

    1. The bad news is that both Corey and Bellinger, have Scott Boras as there agents now.

      They said with Urias they would try to limit his innings at the begining, but make sure to do it, and keep him sharp, at the same time.

      So that is going to be tricky.

      That would be a big thing if Ryu could pitch, but he will probably be on a innings limit too, if he is back to himself.

      I still can’t believe how well Ryu pitched in the last game, before he was hurt.

      Remember he pitched against the Cardinals in the play off game, and he pitched well, and he probably was not 100 percent then.

        1. Maybe they can buy out a couple of the free agent years, with Corey, by signing him with a good pay day, before, and through his arbitration years.

      1. So you want your second or third best starting pitcher to move to the pen? I get the extended spring training if they go that route. It enables them to showcase the trade candidates. The other option is to keep his starts at 5 or 6 innings at the beginning of the year or occasionally skip a start when there has been an off day. If you put him in the pen then you have to stretch him out somehow later.

    2. Using Urias as a reliever is not going to happen. They do not need 4 LH relief pitchers. Dayton, Avilan and Liberatore are all in that slot, with Wood a possible long man if he does not make the starting 5. Urias is better off pitching in extended spring and then at AAA where he would get regular work. As a reliever you would never know when he would pitch.

  6. But throwing bullpen sessions and pitching to live hitting in a game environment are still apples and oranges. And then pitching to a real ML lineup beginning the season, another challenge.

    With Ryu especially, I’m sure he has yet to throw at 100% velocity or torque. Here soon, he will have to. And then it’s all about stamina and how long can his arm/shoulder sustain that type of effort.

    Here’s my odds of the three being healthy enough to crack the starting rotation beginning the season……

    Ryu……………5%
    McCarthy……35%
    Kazmir………75%

    Now how they perform and how long they stay in the rotation, that’s another story.

  7. It’s my opinion they want to groom Urias to start down the stretch. That’s just a guess. With that I think they will work on building his stamina, throwing first in the 50-60 pitch range, 4-6 innings, with a normal 4 day routine between starts, with all of it coming somewhere other than in LA. I’ve read nothing to suggest that, but since we have so many bullpen arms already on the roster, and with other starters that could be used there as well, I see no need to use Urias out of the pen. He’s a potential #1 so I say train him in that direction. However, with that said, I’ve learned the last few years that FAZ looks at things differently than I do so nothing they do would come as a surprise.

    To Chili’s %’s, yeah, sounds about right. The depth chart currently listed has Urias as 4, Kazmir as 5, MCarthy 6. Since Urias won’t be there, everybody moves up. I think Wood has as good a chance at #5 as McCarthy, but, if it’s at all possible, I think management wants MCarthy in the rotation. #5 might be a throw up between 3-4 guys in ST.

    1. Badger

      I agree about Urias.

      I know we need to limit his innings, but I hope after that is done at the begining of the season, that they let Urias pitch into the six and seventh innings, if he is pitching well.

      He hasn’t faced many line ups, the third time around, and he is going to need to do that, to learn how to get out of trouble.

      I hope he can be our post season guy, the further he matures, because we need a starting pitcher, like that.

  8. They had an article in Dodger Blue, talking about McCarthy.

    Our GM said he is throwing like the pitcher, he saw with the A’s.

    And that has been the problem, with some of these pitchers, that they have signed.

    1. Our GM said that? Ok, which year? 2011? 25 starts 170 innings and 5 complete games or 2012, 18 starts, no complete games and 111 innings? Actually I would take the ’12 numbers and be grateful.

  9. http://www.fanragsports.com/mlb/inside-baseball-jon-heyman-final-offseason-grades/
    The Dodgers explored a deal with the Tigers involving star righty Justin Verlander, per Heyman, who notes that “nothing got close.” Verlander’s hefty salary obligations were considered a barrier, though it seems his no-trade protection may not have been. The veteran righty has suggested he’d be amenable to consider a swap, and his relationship with Kate Upton would likely make Los Angeles an appealing destination.

    1. No surprise here, except, Verlander should have offered to reduce his salary if a move to LA would allow him to be closer to Kate Upton.

      Memo to Badger: Dream about Kate instead of Randy Maddog or Maxine Waters! That is good advice!!

      1. Maxine Waters? That woman looks like the north end of a south bound mule……please. I can think of better things to dream about like Catherine Zeta Jones.

      1. I had to look her up. She will certainly do. I would think his hefty salary would offer us an opportunity to unload some bad contracts of our own, as well as the prospects he would deserve.

  10. “Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.” Leo Tostoy

    I don’t expect all to comprehend that quote.

    Can teams take a current contract and stretch it out?

    Starting in ’18 teams that are $40 million over the cap ($197mm) shall have their highest selection in the draft moved back 10 places. Top 6 protected.

          1. We lock everybody up – men, women, children. ’14 figures show 5% of the world’s female population lives in the US yet a third of the planet’s incarcerated women are here. It’s an industry in the US. Strange the ways we use the “free” market.

          2. Men commit more violent crimes than women, hence the disparity. There are violent women of course, but in things like domestic abuse the pendulum usually swings toward the man. As for murder, well it can go both ways, but jealousy, infidelity, turf wars all take their toll. Then there are the psychopaths who just kill for killings sake.

      1. You ever read the Mars Venus book MJ?

        I’m not gonna pretend to be a therapist here. I’ll leave that to faux dr box. It’s my opinion however that insecure, frequently narcissistic men seek the human jewelry. It’s often to make up for their small hands.

        1. Badger

          I have heard of that book, but never read it.

          Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus.

          Yes I know some try to over compansate.

      2. After 18 years of marriage I’ve learned men (like myself) are visual and auditory whereas women are on a higher plane of existence which encompasses vision, audio, memory, and an amalgamation of other physical and metaphysical senses. Impressive!

  11. Something doesn’t seem right to me.

    A week ago we were told AGon was to be shut down for 2 weeks because of tendinitis in his elbow he had been experiencing since some sparring over the winter.
    One week later he is pain free and everything is gonna be fine.
    As someone who has suffered on & off with Tennis Elbow for a number of years, simply resting it for one week and then being good to go seems highly unlikely.
    My guess is that we have not heard the last of this.

    1. Watford

      If he isn’t doing the thing that caused it, he will be fine.

      He got that from boxing, and that is a different sport.

      But he may not have had it as bad as you in the first place, and that is why it went away so soon.

      Like I told Michael, these athletes get to a doctor sooner then we would, and they have the best people there, to treat them.

      Because they are such large investments.

    2. You sir are wise! Tendinitis in the elbow for a power hitter is like tendinitis in the knee for a midfielder. Not good.

      Though I have no proof, that is why I think they re-signed Utley. To fil in for Agone just in case that elbow doesn’t heal well.

  12. Well I must disagree with MJ’s comment “and they have the best people there, to treat them.”
    You couldn’t possibly be talking about the Dodgers medical staff, the same who managed to send a record amount of players the the DL in 2016. This medical staff is the last place I would go for an opinion.

    As fo Agone, I wanted to remember what the recovery from elbow tendinitis is like. So I went to my dotor on Tuesday morning and had a cortisone shot to ease mine. I literally did!!! I suffer from it too. Have for a number of years and cortisone works great. Working a chainsaw all weekend probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do.
    Elbow tendinitis as you get older DOES NOT go away in any short manner of time. He is 34 years old remember. The only way to alleviate it “somewhat long term” is some type of stem cell procedure, or platelete rich plasma, or PRP. This is what a lot of the basketball players have done to their knees.
    Cortisone is a stop gap, with side affects to boot.
    With that said I don’t see this not being a recurring issue for Agon going forward.
    I don’t know what the restrictions on baseball players is as far as what type of cortisone injections they can have. Afterall it is a steriod. Most commonly the injection is done and the inflamation goes away after 3-4 days. In my case it lasts about 3-4 months. And I don’t work it as much as he does. Then it is just a matter of time before it flares up again. Remember this is at the start of ST and the season hasn’t even begun yet. I would expect him to be on the new 10 day DL at least twice this season. Plus a rest here and there. He’s a stud and a workhorse but he also isn’t stupid. He knows how to pace himself.
    It’s the medical staff around him that scares me.

    1. Yeah, I was just going to mention prp Tim. Many athletes are doing it. I did it, on my knees and my shoulders. It helped me. My knowledge of tendinitis is limited but the word itself tells you what it is. Itis = inflammation. The first thing you want to know is what caused it? The next thing is to stop doing it. I think it’s encouraging to hear it was beating a bag that caused it, not swinging a bat. Stop the pounding. I mentioned yesterday that pounding a bag is introducing trauma to your hand, arm and shoulder. I wouldn’t recommend it, not on a big bag. I’ve done some of that. They’re freakin hard. A soft bag is fine, something that gives. Until further notice I’m going to assume AGon will heal.

      1. At least well enough to enjoy his millions. I’ll take his tendonitis AND his salary. I too get cortisone shots on a regular basis.

  13. MJ, it is only an Ebow as my daughter used to call it.
    Thank you for the concern.
    It’s time for Dodger baseball!!!

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