Below are Spring Training notes from the Dodgers:
HIT THE ROAD: The Dodgers dropped their Camelback Ranch finale yesterday to the Indians by a 6-1 margin as many of the club’s regulars departed for Los Angeles after just one at-bat. Chad Billingsley allowed two runs over 3.0 innings in his final tuneup before his first start of the regular season on Friday. Blake Hawksworth concluded his impressive spring with a 2.61 ERA after striking out three in 2.0 scoreless frames.
I CAN SEE FOR MILES: Non-roster infielder Aaron Miles went 2-for-2 yesterday to raise his batting average to .347 in 23 Spring Training games. The switch-hitter’s 17 hits tie for second on the club with Ivan de Jesus, one behind Matt Kemp’s team-leading 18 knocks.
ON THE MOUND: Ted Lilly will make his fourth and final spring start tonight after striking out five over 6.0 innings of two-run ball in Wednesday’s 6-2 victory over the White Sox. Lilly is expected to throw around 60 pitches and will be followed by Jonathan Broxton, Matt Guerrier, Hong-Chih Kuo, Mike MacDougal and Kenley Jansen. The Angels will counter with right-hander Ervin Santana.
HANG 10: The Dodgers will dress 10 minor leaguers for tonight’s game, including their past two Minor League Players of the Year, Dee Gordon (70) and Jerry Sands (68). Corey Smith (98) has made an impact in his nine games with the big league club and is batting .600 (6-for-10) with two homers and six RBI in limited game action. Allen Webster (88) has thrown 2.0 scoreless innings already for the Dodgers this spring and enters the season rated as the club’s No. 5 prospect by Baseball America. Randy Keisler (91), Justin Sellers (72), Matt Wallach (87), Michael Antonini (92), Steven Ames (93), Jon Huber (71) and Merkin Valdez (97) are also available for Don Mattingly tonight.
LATIN AMERICAN CONFIDENTIAL: In a recent ESPN Magazine survey, active Latino players were asked, “Which team scouts Latin America the best?” The Dodgers were named most often (19.7%) followed by the Yankees (9.5%) and Rangers (8.3%). “The Dodgers were pioneers,” one Dominican position player told the publication. “I remember how important their academy was when I was a kid. Everybody wanted to grow up and be a Dodger.”
LEADERBOARD: Matt Kemp’s five Spring Training home runs are the most for a Dodger during the spring slate since Andre Ethier slugged six in 2008. Kemp is tied for third in the Cactus League in homers and is also tied for ninth on the circuit with 15 RBI. Not to be outdone, Tony Gwynn Jr. is tied for third in the league with six stolen bases and Clayton Kershaw finds his name among the leaders in ERA (2.49, T-5th) and innings (25.1, 5th). After firing 3.0 innings yesterday, Chad Billingsley moved into an eighth place tie with 24.0 innings in Cactus League play.