Below are todays Spring Training notes from the Dodgers.
FEELS LIKE HOME: The Dodgers sport road grays this afternoon as they take on their Camelback Ranch-neighbor White Sox for third time this spring (1-1). The two clubs will meet once more in Cactus League play on Wednesday and then meet for three games that count in Chicago from May 20-22.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Dodger fans donated $5,873 dollars towards the American Red Cross’ Tsunami Relief Fund as the majority of the big league club and several Japanese minor leaguers signed autographs prior to yesterday’s tilt with the Brewers. Hiroki Kuroda signed autographs and collected donations after pitching 5.2 innings in his fourth Spring Training start.
ON THE BUMP: John Ely will face his former teammates today as he makes his fourth start and fifth appearance of the spring season. The Chicago native allowed four runs (three earned) over 4.0 innings in Monday’s loss to the Rangers and is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA and a .200 opponents’ batting average in 10.0 innings this spring. Ely will be followed by Jonathan Broxton, Matt Guerrier and Mike MacDougal. The White Sox will counter with right-hander Gavin Floyd, who held the Dodgers hitless over 2.0 scoreless frames on February 28.
DRAW: The Dodgers and Brewers played to a 6-6 tie yesterday in Los Angeles’ first stalemate of the spring. Juan Castro delivered a clutch two-out RBI single in the ninth to tie the game and then nearly scored the game-winner on Eugenio Velez’s single, but was cut down at the plate by Milwaukee’s Chris Dickerson. Castro went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double and an RBI to raise his spring batting average to a cool .320 in 13 games.
STADIUM TO THE SEA: The starter’s gun sounded at Dodger Stadium this morning at 7:43 a.m. to open the 26th Honda Los Angeles Marathon and Markos Geneti of Ethiopia crossed the finish line in Santa Monica 2 hours, 8 minutes and 24 seconds later to set an L.A. Marathon record. It was the second-fastest marathon in the world this year and the fastest ever in California.
CALLING COLLINS: The Dodgers would like to welcome broadcaster Eric Collins to Camelback Ranch – Glendale. Collins will kick off his third season alongside analyst Steve Lyons with the call of the Dodgers vs. A’s game tomorrow on PRIME TICKET.
- POWER UP: Hector Gimenez ripped an RBI double in the eighth inning yesterday for his fifth extra-base hit of the spring and gave the Dodgers a chance to win it in the 10th with a stolen base to move himself into scoring position. The 28-year-old is tied for the team lead with three homers and is batting .345 in 14 Cactus League contests. Gimenez, who began his career as a third baseman, has played 40 innings at first base and 18 behind the plate this spring.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE: Aaron Miles continued his hot spring by going 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored yesterday to raise his batting average to .343 in Cactus League play. The 34-year-old switch-hitter ranks second on the club with 22 total bases and is tied for second on the team with five extra-base hits. Miles is a .282 career hitting in eight big league seasons with the White Sox (2003), Rockies (2004-05), Cardinals (2006-08, 2010) and Cubs (2009).
HIGH NUMBERS: Ten minor leaguers will suit up with the big leaguers this afternoon against the White Sox. Right-hander Steven Ames (#94) played for Don Mattingly in the Arizona Fall League last year after ranking second on Single-A Great Lakes with a 2.54 ERA and 16 saves in 23 relief appearances with the Loons. Corey Smith (#96) was selected to the Southern League Midseason Game and was the DH on the league’s Postseason All-Star Team after placing second in the league with 86 RBI and finishing ninth with a .467 slugging percentage. Eighteen-year-old outfielder Joc Pederson (#93), whose father Stu was drafted by the Dodgers in 1981, will be in the big league dugout today after he was the club’s 11th-round selection last year out of Palo Alto High School. LHP David Pfeiffer (#90), RHP Javier Solano (#95), IF Elian Herrera (#87), IF Jaime Pedroza (#89), IF Wilberto Ortiz (#91), OF Alfredo Silverio (#92) and C J.T. Wise (#97) will also join the big leaguers this afternoon.
SPOTTED: Dodger Special Advisor, Player Development Ramon Martinez was seen around the Ranch yesterday working with the club’s minor league hurlers as he enters his second season in the Dodger front office. Martinez played 11 seasons in Dodger blue from 1988-98 and ranks seventh on the club’s all-time wins list with 123 and is sixth on the franchise’s all-time strikeout list with 1,312.
LEADERBOARD: Dodger outfielder Marcus Thames is tied for eighth in the Cactus League with five doubles while fellow newcomers Tony Gwynn Jr. (6, T-2nd) and Eugenio Velez (4, T-7th) rank among the league leaders in stolen bases. Trent Oeltjen, who became the fourth Australian-born player to suit up for the Dodgers last season, leads all Dodger hitters with a .444 average (min. 15 at-bats). Hector Gimenez has belted three longballs and shares the home run lead with Matt Kemp, who also leads the club with 13 hits and 10 RBI.