Of special note, Happy Birthday Mickey Hatcher!
Below are Day 27 Spring Training notes from the Dodgers:
REMATCH: The Dodgers and Rangers meet for a second consecutive day after Texas won 5-4 yesterday in Surprise. The Dodgers were paced by Xavier Paul, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI triple, and pulled within a run in the ninth on Trayvon Robinson’s two-run single. Los Angeles will enjoy its only off day of the spring tomorrow before taking on the D’backs on Thursday at Camelback Ranch – Glendale.
FINAL 44: The Dodgers trimmed the number of players in camp this morning by optioning RHP Jon Link and IF Russell Mitchell and reassigning RHP Roman Colon and C J.D. Closser to minor league camp. Yesterday, the Dodgers sent eight players to minor league camp including Javy Guerra, Jamie Hoffmann, John Lindsey, Carlos Monasterios and Trayvon Robinson from the 40-man roster and non-roster invitees Damaso Espino, Dee Gordon and Wilkin De La Rosa. There are now 44 players remaining in big league camp, including 21 pitchers and 23 position players.
A TRUE HIRO: On the same day that the team is collecting donations in Los Angeles, Dodger pitcher Hiroki Kuroda announced that he will be donating $50,000 towards the relief efforts in his native Japan. Kuroda spoke to his teammates this morning during the club’s morning meeting to encourage his teammates to join him in helping the relief efforts.
AN INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE: On this day in 2008, the Dodgers hosted the Padres at Wukesong Stadium in Beijing in Major League Baseball’s first-ever game on Chinese soil. Historically, the franchise has been at the forefront of Asian relations, becoming the first team to open an office in Asia in March 1998 and reaching countries throughout the region through partnerships, goodwill tours and clinics. The Dodgers’ signings of Hideo Nomo (Japan) and Chan Ho Park (Korea) in the 1990s helped open the door for future players in those countries and last year, Hong-Chih Kuo became the first Taiwan-born All-Star in Major League history.
KERSH-AWESOME: Dodger Opening Day starter Clayton Kershaw makes his fourth start of the spring season and has yet to allow an earned run (two unearned) over 11.1 innings. The left-hander has limited opponents to a .175 batting average (7-for-40) with nine strikeouts. Hong-Chih Kuo will make his second appearance of the spring in relief of Kershaw and Blake Hawksworth, Ron Mahay, Oscar Villarreal, Travis Schlichting and Ramon Troncoso are also scheduled to appear. The Rangers will counter with left-hander Derek Holland.
BATTER UP: Dodger pitchers will hit for themselves starting today as team will forego the designated hitter for the rest of the spring. Clayton Kershaw will take his first hacks of the season today after leading the Majors last season with 18 sacrifice hits, which tied with Burt Hooton (1978) for the second-most sacrifices in a single season by a Dodger pitcher. Orel Hershiser set the all-time mark for a Dodger pitcher with 19 sacrifice hits in 1988.
- CRICKETS: No Dodger pitchers are slated to throw on the off day tomorrow with the exception of Vicente Padilla, who will continue to throw as a part of his rehab after having forearm surgery on February 24 to fix his right radial nerve, which was being entrapped by one of the deep muscles in his forearm.
LEADERBOARD: Marcus Thames gave the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead yesterday with his first-inning RBI double, his fifth two-base hit of the spring. Thames is locked in a six-way tie for the Cactus League doubles lead and is batting .320 with a .520 slugging percentage in 11 Spring Training games. Tony Gwynn Jr. will get the start today in left field and ranks second in the Cactus League with a perfect six steals in six attempts. The 28-year-old is batting .321 in 12 Spring Training games.
BOYS IN BLUE: The Third Annual UMPS CARE Charities online auction is underway at UmpsCare.com, featuring priceless memorabilia and one-of-a kind experiences for teams throughout baseball. Fans can bid on a Dodger batting practice experience among the other great packages until March 20.
PRIME TIME: Today, “Dodgertalk” hosts Joe Block and Josh Suchon will have the call of the Dodgers-Rangers game on PRIME TICKET. The pair will welcome fellow KABC personality Peter Tilden to Camelback Ranch on Thursday. Tilden will broadcast live at the ballpark from 3-6 p.m. and be joined by numerous Dodger guests throughout the afternoon.