- ONE OF THE GREATEST: “I'd like to thank God for including me in his master plan ... being a Brooklyn Dodger and Los Angeles Dodger." -- Duke Snider, Cooperstown, 1980.
- GOING TRIBAL: This afternoon, the Dodgers will play the first of two games against the Cleveland Indians this spring, with the other contest coming on March 27 at Camelback Ranch. Los Angeles and Cleveland last tussled in the regular season in 2008, with the Indians taking two of three at Dodger Stadium in Interleague Play. The Indians also took two of three from the Dodgers during 2010 Spring Training, including an exhibition contest at Dodger Stadium on April 1, 2010.
- KEEP IT ROLLING: The Dodgers won their second consecutive Cactus League contest yesterday, downing the White Sox, 6-5. Jonathan Broxton picked up the win after tossing a scoreless inning and right-handed minor league Nate Eovaldi garnered the save with a perfect ninth inning. At the dish, Jamie Hoffmann went 2-for-2 and Damaso Espino drove in two runs.
ON THE MOUND: Dodger right-hander Chad Billingsley will make his 2011 Spring debut this afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark. Last season, Billingsley went 12-11 with a 3.57 ERA and has recorded a winning record in each of his eight professional seasons. His 52 victories in the Majors since 2007 are tied for eighth among current NL starters over that time and his 551 strikeouts since 2008 ranks sixth in the National League. The 2009 All-Star posted a 3.05 ERA in his 15 starts after the break in 2010. Billingsley will be followed to the mound by RHP Oscar Villarreal, RHP Roman Colon, RHP Jon Huber, RHP Lance Cormier and LHP Wilkin De La Rosa. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco will take the hill for the Tribe.
- BRINGING THE “A” TEAM: The Dodger starting lineup is looking pretty regular this afternoon following a day off for many of the starters yesterday vs. the White Sox. Former Indian Casey Blake will bat second and play in his second 2011 Cactus League contest. Blake played for the Tribe from 2003-08, hitting a career high 28 homers in 2004 and playing a career most 156 games in 2007. In a little more than two seasons with Los Angeles, Blake owns the highest fielding percentage (.968) among Dodger third baseman with a minimum of 250 games played.
NON-ROSTER SPOTLIGHT: Dodger right-hander Roman Colon will be making his second appearance of the spring this afternoon after tossing a scoreless inning in his debut last Saturday against the Angels. Colon is 8-10 with a 5.12 ERA in 121 career Major League games with the Braves (2004-05), Tigers (2005-06) and Royals (2009-10). The native of the Dominican Republic pitched in five games for Kansas City last season before pitching in Korea. Colon joined the Dodgers in part because they were his brother’s favorite team. In fact, Daniel Colon was signed by Los Angeles in 1989.
SAXY IN THE HOUSE: Former Dodger second baseman Steve Sax will be at Camelback Ranch-Glendale this weekend to promote his new book, SHIFT: Change Your Mindset And You Change Your World. The All-Star infielder will throw out the first pitch on “Fireworks Night,” Friday, March 4 prior to the Dodgers’ 7:05 p.m. home game against the Giants. The following day, Sax will be signing copies of SHIFT outside the Team Store in the Center Field Courtyard from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sax won the NL Rookie of the Year in 1982, the Silver Slugger in 1986 and was a five-time All Star for the Dodgers (1982-83, ’86) and Yankees (1989-90).
A MINOR MENTION: Three Dodger minor leaguers will take the trip to Goodyear today, including LHP Alberto Bastardo and RHP Francisco Felix. Bastardo, who will wear No. 89, tied for the Dodger organizational lead last season with 12 wins and 27 combined starts at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Albuquerque. Felix, who will wear No. 87, was a non-roster invitee in 2010, but spent much of last year on loan to Saltillo of the Mexican League. RHP Juan Rincon will wear No. 91 and is the third minor league traveler. Rincon tossed a scoreless inning on Sunday vs. the Angels.
- THAT’S MR. DAVIS TO YOU: Dodger legend Tommy Davis will be spending the next few days at Camelback Ranch. Davis, who arrived yesterday, will be working with the minor leaguers. The Brooklyn native played eight seasons with Los Angeles from 1959-66, batting .304 with 86 home runs and 465 RBI in 821 games. The three-time All-Star batted .400 (6-for-15) with two triples and two RBI to help power the Dodgers to the 1963 World Series championship and finished his 18-year Major League career with a .313 batting average in 20 postseason games.
DREAM A LITTLE DREAM: Tomorrow morning is the Dodgers’ annual open tryout in which any ballplayer can come to the fields and attempt to earn a minor league contract. Registration will begin promptly at 8 a.m. with the tryout taking place at 9 a.m. Players just have to bring their own uniform and then dazzle the staff. The Dodgers signed two players out of the tryout in both 2009 and 2010, including right-handed pitcher Tim Corcoran, who is still in the organization.