Below are some Spring Training notes from the Dodgers:
LAST NIGHT’S ACTION: Rod Barajas powered his third Spring Training home run last night, but the Dodgers managed just five hits and lost 5-1 to the Angels in Anaheim. Hiroki Kuroda tossed 4.0 innings in his final tuneup before his 2011 debut on Sunday against the Giants and Lance Cormier fired a scoreless inning of relief to lower his spring ERA to 2.00 (2 ER/9.0 IP) in nine appearances. Minor leaguer Michael Antonini, who was acquired in the Chin-lung Hu trade with the Mets, closed out the game with 2.0 scoreless frames for the Dodgers.
LEADERS OF THE PACK: As the spring season winds down, Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp still leads the club with 19 hits, five homers, 15 RBI and 41 total bases. Infielder Juan Uribe’s seven doubles edge out fellow newcomer Marcus Thames’ six for the team lead in two-base hits, while non-roster invitee Aaron Miles has crossed the plate a team-best 10 times. On the mound, Mike MacDougal has not allowed an earned run (one unearned) in 10.0 innings over 11 appearances this spring. Clayton Kershaw has fanned a team-best 20 batters and is tied with John Ely for the club lead with two wins apiece. Hiroki Kuroda’s 4.0 innings last night gave him a team-high 26.0 over his six Cactus League starts.
RUBBY SLIPPERS: Dodger right-hander Rubby De La Rosa will make his third start and sixth appearance of the spring tonight after allowing three runs over 4.0 innings of relief on Friday against the Diamondbacks in Tucson. The 22-year-old was the Dodgers’ 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year and has limited opposing hitters to a .182 batting average with 10 strikeouts in 14.0 innings this spring.
YOUNG GUNS: Congratulations to Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands for winning the 2011 Jim and Dearie Mulvey Award, given to the top rookie in Dodger camp as voted on by the Dodger coaches. The Mulvey family was part owners of the Dodgers from 1938-1975. This season marks the first tie in the history of the award as the coaching staff opted for a split decision on the power hitting infielder/outfielder Sands, who batted .300 with one home run and two RBI in 21 games, and the hard-throwing De La Rosa. Right-handed pitcher Josh Lindblom won the award last year and Dodger outfielder Xavier Paul took home the honor in 2009. Other winners on the current roster are Hong-Chih Kuo and James Loney.
ROLL OUT THE BUNTING: The Dodgers will celebrate the 30th anniversary of 1981 Opening Day during tomorrow’s festivities to kick off the 2011 season. Grammy Award-winning singer Plácido Domingo will perform the National Anthem and Broadway actor and singer Davis Gaines will perform God Bless America. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and can meet 1981 World Series champion Bill Russell in Autograph Alley from 2:30-4:00 p.m.
SOMETHING IN THE AIR TONIGHT: MLB Network will also be joining the Dodgers in celebrating the 30th anniversary of 1981 Opening Day with a special feature on Fernando Valenzuela, which will debut tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. PT on the network. The show will feature interviews with Valenzuela, Steve Garvey and Tommy Lasorda on the impact Fernandomania and his remarkable 1981 season.