Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 8 / Home Game 4 - Kershaw Makes Second Starting Today

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.

 Los Angeles Dodgers (4-1-2) vs. Colorado Rockies (2-3-1)
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 – 1:05 p.m. MT | Camelback Ranch

LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-0) vs. RHP Eddie Butler (0-0)
TV: SNLA Radio: None

(Dodger gear, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015)

HEATING UP: As the weather in Arizona heats up, the Dodgers find themselves unbeaten in their last six games, keeping the streak alive with a 5-5 tie against San Francisco yesterday in Scottsdale. Today is the first of two Cactus League games this spring against the National League West-rival Colorado Rockies. A split squad of Dodgers will travel to Talking Stick on Saturday, March 21 for the second leg of the series. Last year, Los Angeles went 13-6 facing the Rockies, their best against Colorado since going 14-4 in 2009. The clubs’ first meeting this season will be April 17-19 at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers do not visit Denver until May 8.
  • Opening Day is just 27 days away, as the Dodgers take on the Padres Monday, April 6.

BATTLING BACK: Facing a 5-2 deficit to the Giants in the seventh inning, the Dodgers came back to tie the contest at five apiece yesterday, earning their second tie of the spring season. Dodger starter Brett Anderson was terrific in his debut, retiring six of the seven hitters he faced and inducing five grounders to go along with a strikeout. Elsewhere on the mound, Erik Bedard fired 2.0 scoreless frames while Yimi Garcia and Chris Hatcher added a scoreless inning apiece. Neither has given up a run this spring. Offensively, Jimmy Rollins was 2-for-3 with a triple and a double and Yasiel Puig blasted his first homer of the spring, a two-run shot in the fourth inning. 
  • Second baseman Howie Kendrick committed a throwing error in the fifth inning yesterday, snapping a string of 45 consecutive errorless innings. Los Angeles has committed just two errors through its first seven Cactus League contests.
  • Los Angeles pitchers have combined to post a 3.57 ERA and limit opposing hitters to a .211 batting average this spring, striking out 53 and walking only 16 in 63.0 innings.
  • The Dodgers are averaging nearly six runs per game, slugging .455 as a team and have posted a .275 batting average.
(Yasiel Puig, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015)

ON THE MOUND: Left-hander Clayton Kershaw will make his second start of the spring today after striking out three and not allowing a hit in two scoreless frames last Thursday. Kershaw is coming off a season in which he took home both the NL MVP and Cy Young awards. Since making his debut in 2008, Kershaw leads the Majors in ERA, winning percentage (.667), opponents’ average (.209) and WHIP (1.06).
  • RHP Joe Wieland is expected to make his second appearance of the spring today after tossing two scoreless innings in last Thursday’s win over the White Sox. Wieland made his Major League debut at Dodger Stadium as a member of the Padres on April 14, 2012. He missed the second half of the 2012 season and all of the 2013 campaign due to Tommy John surgery.
  • Veteran RHP Dustin McGowan will make his second appearance of the spring today after allowing two runs on two hits in an inning of relief on Friday against the Mariners. The former first-round draft pick has struck out nearly twice as many as he’s walked in his career, striking out 392 and walking only 199 in 482.1 innings.
  • 23-year-old LHP Paco Rodriguez is also expected to see action today after tossing a scoreless frame on Friday against the Mariners. Rodriguez became the first member of the 2012 draft class to make his Major League debut, reaching the Majors after pitching in just 21 minor league games.
  • Hard-throwing RHP Pedro Baez is expected to appear in today’s game, after pitching a scoreless inning of relief in his first action of the spring on Friday against the Mariners. Baez limited opposing hitters to a .188/.231/.306 slashline and posted a 0.88 WHIP in 24.0 innings with the Dodgers in 2014.
  • RHP David Aardsma will make his second appearance of the spring today after tossing a scoreless frame on Friday against the Mariners. Aardsma has averaged nearly a strikeout per inning during the course of his career, with 305 strikeouts against only 169 walks in 306.1 innings.

30 IN 30: MLB Network’s 30 Clubs in 30 Days was on-site this morning for an inside look at Dodger camp. The hour-long special, complete with field reports, interviews with Dodger players and Don Mattingly and predictions, airs today at 4:00 p.m. PT.
(Warming Up, Pic via Los Dodgers on twitter)

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2015 Topps Heritage - Sandy Koufax - A Legend Retires Subset

Following on the heals of their 2015 Baseball Series 1 retail exclusive subset of Jackie Robinson, Topps features another Dodger great for their Heritage series - Sandy Koufax.  It is exclusively available only in retail packs found at Walmart, and there are 15 total Koufax cards in the set.  As you can see below they each focus on an career milestone or important fact about "the left hand of God."

Of all the Dodger cards available in Heritage this year these might be the "must have" cards.  Check them all out below.  I apologize in advance for the poor cropping of some of the cards.

A Legend Retires Set (Walmart Exclusive)

#SK-1 Notches Shutout at 19                      #SK-2 Teenage Whitewash

Blog Kiosk: 3/10/2015 - Dodger Links - Ethier, Seager and Chris Hatcher

Andre Ethier, the man considered to be outside looking in, has been performing very well of late.  Yesterday he recorded a run scoring single and threw a runner out at home while playing in left field.  Per Don Mattingly via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA:
"Dre's good everywhere. No surprise," Mattingly said. "He had a nice swing on the ball with a guy on third. He looks good. He's actually swinging the bat better the last couple of days, you could see his timing is coming."
There's no easy solution to the Ethier conundrum.  Will he remain sitting amongst a crowded outfield in Dodger Blue or be sent elsewhere to have an opportunity to play everyday?  A part of me wishes they could find a way to keep the longest tenured Dodger on the roster, but I realize that that's not the best situation for either Andre or us. Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to check out more pics from Jon from yesterday.

Below are some more links to check out:
"You want to make sure he fully develops. There's more for him to pick up," said Mattingly. "If the situation was different, I'm not sure you wouldn't just throw him in and let him play and get the experience here. But that's not the situation here."
  • Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com, "Puig hits first spring homer, stands out on defense."  By all accounts Puig appears to have taken that next step.
"Today, he was moving on every pitch," Mattingly said of Puig's focus. "All you ask is for the guy to be ready to go. The ball he cuts off in the gap is a great play. Maybe it doesn't make SportsCenter, maybe you don't notice, but it's a great play. And the throw at the plate, we thought the guy was out. He looks really good."
  • Via Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times, "Chris Hatcher hopes to catch on as Dodgers' temporary closer."  Dylan lets us know about his transition from a catcher to a pitcher.
"I didn't take it as a slap in the face, like, 'Hey, you're not good enough,'" he recalled. "I took it as, 'Man, this could be a smart move.'"
    “I would kind of hope my 30s are where my career really begins,” the 31-year-old right-hander said before making his spring debut with the Dodgers on Sunday. “As dumb as that sounds. I’ve spent a long time figuring (things) out – health being the biggest thing – and transforming as a pitcher.

    * Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
    * Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *