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Spring Training Youtube Notebook – The First Weekend

Spring Training has sprung!

Here are some news bits, notes and observances on the Dodgers’ Spring Training opening weekend. Inside we’ll talk about Matt Kemp, the (so far) unsuccessful Chase Utley as leadoff hitter experiment, and the upcoming kid who’s making an early bid to make the team – Max Muncy.

There’s also a short and sweet beer review on The 12th of Never Ale from Lagunitas Brewing. Enjoy!

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.

20 thoughts on “Spring Training Youtube Notebook – The First Weekend

  1. Muncy is no kid. The guy is almost 29 years old. Utley is not being used as leadoff and we all know that. It is just to give him AB’s. Kemp has looked good in the field and at the plate. He was 0-2 today with a walk,, but he scorched a couple of balls that were caught and he has yet to strikeout unlike Pederson who has K’d about 5 times already.

  2. To be honest I was not impressed with Kemp the last few games. He looked heavy to me. Not really feeling Joc either. Now I’m hoping Toles gets it right and goes off.

    Right now the ST is one big blah ….. no eye openers like Wood and Taylor last year, yet.

    1. I have only seen the highlight videos, still debating whether I want the mlb package again.

      I thought Kemp looked big, and on a 6’4” frame yeah, he looked heavier than I expected. Hard to know from watching him trot around the bases. He’s definitely not the 210 BR
      has him listed. I’d need to see him in outfield drills to have a better idea on how he is moving, and I have no plans to go down this year. He only needs to be average out there, and since I don’t really trust defensive metrics I don’t really know that he isn’t. He’s a #4 hitter in this lineup and as long as he hits well there, I’m willing to accept average in the outfield. Everything I have read so far says most are glad to see him around. But, it’s early. This could go any direction.

    2. Heavy? The guy lost 40 pounds and he has looked pretty good at the plate. With the high sky and the wind he even made a couple of nice plays in LF. You must be looking at some other guy named Kemp.

    1. “The MLBPA is Failing Its Players.” In it, she noted that players’ share of baseball revenues has been in a sharp decline since 2002, falling from 56 percent of league revenues then to 40 percent today. This, she asserted, was evidence of the economics of the game becoming increasingly tilted toward the owners, echoing a conclusion voiced by Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan earlier.”

      Well duh. Look around. Do you see any laborers income going up anywhere? Have you seen any workers wages skyrocketing the way corporate owners incomes have over the last 40 years? According to EPI charts, stagnation began right around 1980. What large national event happened then?

      The charts are easily accessed. Labor unions are dead or dying. MLB players on average make more in a 5 year career than skilled laborers make in a lifetime. Some do it in 2 starts. Bargain in good faith then STFU and play baseball for a living.

      As for teams in MLB turning a profit, that is hardly anything new. They all do, even those claiming losses are increasing in value. I’ve been arguing that for years now. The Dodgers losing money? Sure they are. And by doing so their value went up 10% in 1 year, about 38% since gugg bought the team. Hell the sad sack Marlins value went up 22% in one stink year. You own a franchise your making bank. If you play for that franchise you’re probably set for life. If you actually work for that franchise be grateful you have a job because several thousand are out there that change places with you.

  3. I see Kemp as our fifth hitter, and the big rightie bat, that we have needed, in the last few years.

    And like Badger said, all Kemp has to do is play adequate defense in left.

    And with Kemp’s motivation and the shifting the team does, Kemp just might be a little better then adequate, in left.

    They are not having the pitchers on the major league team, throwing that many innings in spring training, this year.

    Because they pitched deeper into the post season last year, so they are being very conservative with the innings these pitchers will pitch, in spring training.

    No one really looked good yesterday in that game, except Muncey.

    But Kemp did take a first pitch to rightfield on a line that was hit hard, but mostly, everyone didn’t do that much.

    There was no energy in the air at all, but they were like this in spring training last year, but it is still way to early.

    1. I could see Kemp 5th. Seager, Turner, Bellinger, Kemp. Stout middle order.

      I hope Barnes is ok. If not it might mean more Grandal early which likely means less Grandal late. I suppose Farmer could earn at bats if Barnes ain’t right.

      1. Exactly Badger!

        And that moves Puig back a little, until he gets more experienced as a hitter, because his numbers, were not good, batting fifth.

        Athough Puig had a very good season, and he should only get better, if he continues to want to learn.

  4. Friedman even spoke positively about Kemp, and the work Kemp has done, and how well he has worked with his teammates, even before spring training, began.

    So I think that evaluation about Kemp, is based on more, then just two games, and the early days, of spring training.

    1. I think maybe the evaluation is based on Kemp being here. Having seen what those guys do I don’t believe what they say. I might believe Roberts before Friedman, but even Dave will remain positive no matter what. Even if Kemp bats .400 and leads the Cactus League in dingers Friedman will try to lose him. If he’s still here on Opening Day he will play, but I have a feeling it’s 50/50 he won’t be.

      1. Then Friedman is an IDIOT. Kemp is the best option in LF with the bat. If he is even adequate with his glove, he is better than anyone else they might stick out there….I think he is with the team…..

        1. Hey, I hope he sticks. And I really don’t know what the plan is, it’s just a gut feeling I have about Friedman. I believe he wants Kemp to impress so he can unload him, even if it costs the team $20 million to do it. I actually understand why. This team is pretty good without him and there are already 5 good left fielders on the team – 3 of them are left handed and 2 are right handed. None of them hit like Kemp, but that doesn’t matter now does it.

          1. Not to Friedman, but it should. To win games you need to score runs. To score runs you need guys capable of driving them in consistently. None of the other LF candidates has proved to this point that they can do that and they sure as hell are not going to prove it in a 30 game spring schedule where they are not playing 9 innings everyday. Those guys are good fielders, as hitters they leave a lot to be desired. Except maybe Toles, but coming back from an injury who knows. Thompson has all sorts of tools, but little experience. Hernandez is nothing more than a scrub. Pederson has power, but makes inconsistent contact. I do not trust any of them as an everyday option and considering the fact that our everyday catchers have looked lousy, we need a guy who knows how to hit in this lineup…hell, Seager has not even played in the field yet and there is talk that he might not be out there until the last 10 days. Best looking hitter so far has been Farmer.

          2. I think it’s very interesting. The front office has spoken about blocking younger players as a bad thing, which implies to me they are willing to take a short-term hit (Kemp could outperform the younger players this year) to bleed them and get a mid and long term win (seasoning or just learning if the young guys can play.)

          3. I’m reminded, by Logenhagen, that it took a Vernon Wells injury for Trout to come up.

            I’m not comparing Verdugo to Trout, but does the team want to leave it up to fate/chance? Or do they just want to evaluate Talent/readiness in a controlled environment.

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