Monday, May 27, 2024
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Spring Training Tidbits From Camelback

There wasn’t a lot of hot breaking news coming out of the Dodgers’ Spring Training facilities at Camelback Ranch today. I suppose that in itself is a breath of good news after the past few days unfolded around a sub par bullpen session and a shut down first baseman.

Which brings us to our first bit of news per Eric Stephan: Adrian Gonzalez will receive more planned days off during the season. The intent is to keep the Butter and Eggs Man fresh when we get into October and the playoffs run. This plan will not be unique to Gonzalez.

“It’s not just Adrian. It’s across the board.” – Manager Dave Roberts

Chase Utley had his status with the Dodgers finalized today. He’s signed for one more year, at $2 million. Utley had been the Dodgers’ second baseman, but that’s going to change with the signing of Logan Forsythe.

We can expect to see Utley moving around the infield a bit more, which will play into the skipper’s plans to rest players during the season. When Justin Turner rests, Forsythe will probably slide over to third, and Utley will spot in at second. The Dodgers are also considering Utley to be a possible backup first baseman as well.

The skipper announced staff ace Clayton Kershaw will take the ball on Opening Day. This will be Kershaw’s seventh consecutive Opening Day start, which ties him with Dodgers heavyweights Don Sutton and Don Drysdale. In those seven starts Kershaw boasts a 4-0 record.

I didn’t have any Sergio Romo news to report. I just ran his photo in the lead because I think it’s very cool to see Romo decked out in Dodger Blue.

Monday will see the rest of the position players report.

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.

34 thoughts on “Spring Training Tidbits From Camelback

  1. A couple of days in and already talking talking about how to coordinate resting the geezers. Guess we can’t be too surprised by that. Maybe the training staff should get some elongated neural tone length-tension pliability relationship tips from Tom Brady and his personal team of trainers. His head trainer’s name? Alex Guerrero. Perfect.

    I’m thinking banging on the big bag can’t be that great for older joints. Shadow box with weighted gloves, sure, but pounding away on a hard surface can cause trauma. That’s a hard stop for shoulder and elbow joints. I wonder how many games he’s planning to sit out? I had him penciled in for 150. 140 maybe?

  2. This all depends on how much the rest of the division will allow us to rest our regulars. Could the Giants implode a bit earlier this year?

    People seem to have forgotten that the Giants had the best record in baseball and was still a solid wild card team after a second half implosion of historical proportions.

      1. Inability to put runs on the board could be Giants weakness. Overall, their offense rated fairly well (park adjusted) last year, but a big part of the 2nd half collapse was not scoring. 2nd half team wRC+ was 93, compared to Dodgers 105.

        I think they were one legit bat from sealing up that potential weakness this season. It could have been a left fielder, or it could have been a 3B. Instead, they will play Mac Williamson/Jarrett Parker in LF and Eduardo Nunez/Conor Gillaspie at 3B. Their offense is in need of guys stepping up, having a career year or two. Brandon Belt has been the most productive player on offense by the metrics, and Brandon Crawford has been their leading RBI guy. With guys like Posey and Pence somewhat diminished at the plate and the roster not much inclined to strike fast via the long ball, they are really dependent on “keeping the line moving” and coming up with timely hits. A lot rides on Joe Panik bouncing back.

        They’ve won with pitching and defense before, but sometime you have to score runs to keep with teams like the Rockies and DBacks that can put up some crooked numbers in their home yards.

        I just think the West is going to be wild.

        1. What you just said, though accurate, could be said for every contender in the league. If your best players all have good years, you will contend. If there is a team slump, you’re toast. The giants fell out of contention because of the franchise record thirty blown saves they suffered. They fix that, they will be there until the last week of the season.

          1. Badger

            The Giants had problems scoring also, in the second half, it wasn’t just blown saves.

            Those saves probably stood out even more, because they were not scoring a lot of runs, so they had a lot of one and two run leads, that were lost, by there bullpen.

            If you remember, in that last series against the Giants, there anouncers said, that there bats, finally woke up.

            But I think it was more Maeda, and McCarthy, making it easy, on the Giant hitters.

            And remember our offense, was one of the top offenses in baseball, in the second half of the season.

            That is why we had the most comeback wins, in all of baseball.

            The Giant’s starting rotation, is there biggest strength, if they can stay healthy.

            Because you know there starters, pitch much deeper into games, then our starters, except Kershaw.

            And that reminds me, if we are not in a close race in September, Roberts needs to have Kershaw take a some time off, if possible.

            Kershaw needs to keep in mind, to not try or insist, on pitching nine innings, every start.

            Agone may need some rest, but Kershaw is the one that may need rest too, with his problems, in the post season.

            And Roberts didn’t just say the veteran players were the only ones, getting rest, he said everyone.

            Corey said he lost his legs, in the last two seasons, at the end of the year.

  3. Fair enough. I will also say that if Greg Holland has strong comeback and if they get effective work from young pitchers like Hoffman, Marquez, and Freeland, the Rockies may also be in it until last week.

    1. Badger

      I still think it is better to have four starters, who can pitch at least six or seven innings a game, then a bunch of average, or below pitchers.

      Of course every team needs depth, but a team doesn’t need as much depth, if they have those type of starters.

      And I don’t think the other way, is necessarily is better, or cheaper, in most cases.

      1. For sure. He’s got to build that up, but it was his slider that was the kill pitch. By mid-season if he ain’t got it, he may never.

        I thought the Dodgers might take a flyer on him.

        1. Rye

          I thought they might too.

          But every team had someone at his showcase, and the Giants GM, was there too.

          And it looks like he didn’t do enough, to have a lot teams, to want to take a chance, on him.

  4. Yeah, I know it’s true the giants had scoring issues in the second half, but, logic will tell you that if you blew a franchise high and league leading 30 saves obviously you had scored enough runs to win those games. I think they had 9 blown in September alone. If they hold on to leads in just 5 of those they win the West. They also had a couple BS in post season.

    I’m with you guys on the Rockies. They look like a solid club. The West is going to be a bruiser.

    1. The Giants had this thing going where they weren’t as good as their 1st half record, and weren’t as bad as their 2nd half. Things snowballed. Fans were all over Bruce Bochy as if it was his fault that pitchers could not execute. A guy like Brandon Belt had a tremendous first half, drawing walks like a regular Joey Votto. 2nd half, he still drew his walks, but his penchant for striking out came back with vigor. The two everyday carrier players are Posey and Crawford. Much rides on their health and performance – they are not getting any younger and 2017 may be the last year where team contention window is wide open. By 2018, Cueto will either be gone or declining in performance and the rest of the gang older and not a whole lot of reinforcement from farm.

      The Diamondbacks. Seems if things don’t go well, some big name players be be on the block. Would the Dodgers welcome Greinke back if AZ paid some of freight? If they only had a bullpen (easier said than done), they’d be right up there in the thick of things. It’s possible their starting pitching could magically click and carry them far – they have a stable of arms with ample potential. And they have ample bats in the lineup. I like Brandon Drury to do some more damage this year. I think Jake Lamb as well will continue on the path.

      1. I thought the same thing about Arizona last year, then Pollock went down, and Miller and Greinke never quite got it together. Those guys rally and the dbacks will be tough.

      2. I think Pence look like his age was catching up with him, last year.

        And Posey had a back problem, and catching can’t be an easy thing to do, with a bad back.

        1. Badger

          How many blown saves did the Giants and the Dodgers, have in the first half, and the second half of the season?

          And who besides Melancon, have the Giants added to there bullpen?

          1. Relying on guys like Law, Strickland, Osich and Okert to join more veteran arm, Will
            Smith, in effort to hand leads to Melancon.

            Like a lot of bullpens, has potential to go well but could spring leaks.

          2. I don’t know first and second half numbers MJ. What I do know is the giants choked a big lead and most of the so called experts say it was because of their weak bullpen. I don’t think it will be as weak this year. I saw Strickland and Okert up close and they looked pretty good to me. Melancon obviously makes the pen appear better. We’ll see.

  5. Very few teams at this stage know what they have in their bullpen. Including us. Including our so called number 1 bullpen. So much changes from year to year in the performance of bullpen arms, even for elite closers sometimes.

    But the Giants did fix their blown saves problem by adding Melancon. The issue remains all those other times where the bullpen can’t keep a game close enough, etc. I think the Giants caught a few breaks last year despite their implosion and they need 3 players to have careers to get into WS. Being healthy and consistent is not enough. If those 3 players are their starters, look out.

    Just my uniformed opinion of course. For the Dodgers, being healthy and consistent is enough to get them to NLCS. The Dodgers just need 1 person to have a career year. If that’s Puig or Forsythe, and everyone else stays the same, we’re a favorite to get into the WS.

    1. I dunno about favorite to get to the ws. I think the Cubs are pretty great, but I do think there should be a sizable gap between the Dodgers and Giants.

  6. Badger

    Maybe Bluto is right about that about that writer.

    Will Smith is not anyone that is going to make the Giants bullpen, much better this year.

    He was lousy last year, and it just killed Mad Dog on High Heat, when he found out the Giants had traded for Smith, last year.

    He said he wasn’t all that, and he was right.

    1. “right about that writer”? All he said was he wasnt a fan. I have no idea who the guy is, but thought it was funny he had the Dodgers in second place. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he’s probably a giants fan. At this point I see it coming down very much like it did last year – Dodgers win the West with about 92 wins, giants, Rockies, dbacks and Padres follow. Obviously all teams in the division will go through subtle changes but the Dodgers SHOULD win it. They have the best pitcher, the best SS, the best manager and by far the most money. Other than giant fans, who DOESNT think they should win it?

        1. It’s been a long time since they weren’t favored in the West.

          They aren’t favorites to win the pennant. Cubs of course are favorites to win it all, as they should be. Last I looked, Nats and Dodgers are even at 10-1. Those numbers will fluctuate month to month.

      1. Oh my gosh. I didn’t even read the article! I just saw your comment, and assumed the Dodgers were +4.

        I did read the author’s bio, and it was pathetic.

        Ha. Yes. I disagree with him (the writer) think the Dodgers depth and talent far outstrips the Giants.

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