Friday, March 13, 2015

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 11 / Home Game 5

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.

Cincinnati Reds (5-5-1)  at Los Angeles Dodgers (5-2-3)
Friday, March 13, 2015 – 7:05 p.m. MT | Camelback Ranch - Glendale

RHP Jason Marquis (2-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 4.50)

(Peoria Stadium, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015)

FRIDAY THE 13TH: The Dodgers and Reds meet for the first and only time this spring in a sold-out contest under the lights at Camelback Ranch – Glendale. Los Angeles and Cincinnati won’t meet again until August, when the clubs will play their seven-game season series in the span of two weeks, Aug. 13-16 at Dodger Stadium and Aug. 25-27 at Great American Ball Park.
  • Tomorrow’s 1:05 p.m. game against the Indians at Camelback Ranch is also sold out. 

LOOK RYU’S BACK: Hyun-Jin Ryu made his Cactus League debut last night, striking out two in 2.0 hitless, scoreless innings, and combined with seven Dodger relievers (including Will Ferrell) on a two-hit shutout of the Padres in a 1-0 Dodger victory. Joc Pederson blasted his first homer of the spring in the ninth inning for the game’s only run and is batting .353 in seven Cactus League games.
  • The Dodgers have committed just three errors through their first 10 Cactus League contests.
  • Los Angeles pitchers have combined to post a 3.13 ERA and limit opposing hitters to a .200 batting average this spring, striking out 72 and walking just 20 in 89.0 innings.
(Hyun-Jin Ryu, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015)

MINOR NEWS: Dodger minor leaguers will hold their first official workout of the spring tomorrow on the back fields at Camelback Ranch. The minor league portion of the Spring Training schedule gets underway for the Triple-A and Double-A rosters on March 20, while the two Single-A clubs have their opening games on March 22.

ON THE MOUND: Right-hander Brandon McCarthy will make his second start of the spring tonight after allowing one run on two hits in 2.0 innings on Sunday against the Brewers. The 31-year-old, who signed a four-year contract with Los Angeles this offseason, enters 2015 as one of baseball’s hottest pitchers after going 9-5 with a 2.80 ERA (32 ER/103.0 IP) in his final 16 starts last year with the D-backs and Yankees.
  • RHP Joel Peralta will make his Dodger debut and his first outing of the spring tonight. Peralta, 39, was acquired this offseason from Tampa Bay and leads MLB relievers with 296 appearances over the last four years from 2011-14. During the course of his career, he’s posted a 3.28 strikeout-to-walk ratio and limited opposing hitters to a .230 batting average.
  • RHP Brandon League is expected to make his third appearance of the spring this evening, last pitching on Monday against the Giants.
  • RHP Chris Hatcher will make his third appearance of the spring tonight after tossing a scoreless inning on both March 5 against the White Sox and on Monday against the Giants. Hatcher, a converted catcher, was acquired from Miami in a seven-player deal on Dec. 10, 2014.
  • RHP Juan Nicasio is expected to make his third appearance of the spring tonight after allowing one run on two hits in 2.0 innings on Sunday against the Brewers. Nicasio was acquired from the Rockies this offseason and, after opening the year in the starting rotation, he made the first 19 relief appearances of his career last year with Colorado, posting a 3.48 ERA in that role.
  • LHP Daniel Coulombe has allowed just one hit in 2.0 scoreless appearances this spring, last pitching on Sunday against the Brewers. Coulombe, 25, made his MLB debut as a September call-up last year and pitched in five games with the Dodgers in his first big league action.
  • RHP Yimi Garcia is expected to make his third appearance of the spring tonight after tossing a scoreless inning against both the Brewers (March 6) and Giants (Monday).  Garcia saw his first big league action last year as a September call-up and allowed just two runs in 10.0 innings in eight relief appearances with the Dodgers.

AN OLD FRIEND RETURNS: This weekend, former assistant to Tommy Lasorda, Colin Gunderson, returns to Camelback and will sign copies of his new book, Tommy Lasorda: My Way, along with the Hall of Fame skipper himself. There will be two signings in the center-field pavilion at Camelback Ranch, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. tonight and from noon-2:00 p.m. tomorrow

IN MEMORY: The Dodgers join the rest of the Los Angeles sports world in mourning the passing of longtime sports talk radio host Joe McDonnell at the age of 58. The club wishes to pass along its deepest condolences to McDonnell’s family and to all those in the Southern California sports community who lost a colleague and friend. Dodger EVP and Chief Marketing Officer Lon Rosen said, “Joe was all about sports and loved the Dodgers. He was a fixture at Dodger Stadium and will be terribly missed by players, management and fans.”
(The Kershaw's, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015)

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

The Adorable Puig Plays MLB15

Yeah, I said it.  Puig's adorable.

Adorable like a little lost puppy that I want to hug and take care of.  I want to make sure nobody every hurts him again 'cause he's too innocent and pure to be running around in an wilderness filled with fickle and often vindictive American sports fans.

Just check out the below video to see what I mean.  He shows up at about the 19 second (:19) mark in the MLB 15 The Show video below.  In it, he takes notice of the detail found on the equipment, namely his shoes, in the game.  Puig remarks:
"That's my shoes."
In the most boyish way possible.

Video Link:

As you may know, MLB 15 officially comes out on March 31st.  Go here for more information at the Baseball is Better website.  And if the above video doesn't provide enough Puig and MLB 15 for you then check out the newly released video of Puig playing more of the game below.  It is a "Puig on Puig" video.

Video Link:

In the above video Puig shows his sense of humor when he mentions that his digital self hits the cutoff man.

BTW, if you're wondering about the ratings placed on the Dodger players check out the graphic below.  Operation Sports has player rating for each team here.
(Top rated Dodgers in game, via Operation Sports)

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

I Can Take a Joke - a Giants Fan Makes a Funny

As much as I hate this, I'll allow it... 'cause, it's funny... Like, really funny.  And I like to think I've got a good sense of humor.  Besides, this made me laugh while making me hate the Giants even more.  So, I'll take that.  Of course, it would be better the other way around.

This graphic was found on the r/Dodgers reddit this afternoon and was posted by a lurking Giants fan named u/dodgerh8ter.  Check out the thread on reddit here.  I think u/stymiefoo22 response is perfect.  Below is a GIF representation of it.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2015 Donruss Baseball - The Dodger Base Cards and Variations

Panini's very first Baseball card set of the season has finally hit the shelves.  It is their Donruss brand, and its base set borrows many of the design elements found when they existed in the '80's.  Unfortunately, the lack of MLB logos and brands is again absent, so they look really strange.  It's tough to like a card when you can't show a ball-cap with the "LA" logo on it.  Go here to check out a complete checklist.

Much like in past years, the base set is broken up into multiple parts.  It starts with the Diamond Kings set, then the popular Rated Rookie set, the base cards and a new subset called the Inaugural 1981 Edition.  As the name implies, it features a group of the more popular players on the vintage 1981 Donruss design. 

Check out all of the Dodger cards below; including the two variations that exist.

Diamond Kings

#14 Clayton Kershaw

Rated Rookies

#32 Joc Pederson

Blog Kiosk: 3/13/2015 - Dodger Links - All Ferrell All the Time... Oh, Olivera, Ryu and Grienke Too

Yesterday was quite a spectacle.  Everyone in the stadium waited patiently for the arrival of the Cactus League traveling rookie known as Will Ferrell, and they were not disappointed.  He stumbled into the stadium wearing Giant colors (to the consternation of some in the crowd) and emerged from the Dodger dugout in Blue.

The crowd roared.  They laughed.  And best of all, we saw him throw a "slurge"
"Have you ever heard of a slurge? I'm going to throw that, I learned it in Japan"
Dodger catcher Austin Barnes was a bit tongue-tied after that.

The evening was everything you hoped it would be.  It was fun, off the cuff and thoroughly entertaining.  I get that there are some who disliked the entire show, but those voices are few and far between.  After all, in a game that starts from late February to October, having a moment to collectively laugh and smile all at once is a welcome change.  Heck, it's exactly the kind of thing to break us away from the drugery and seriousness that is everyday life. 

Photo at the top via Jon SooHoo/LA DodgersGo here to check out more photos from Jon from yesterday.  Below are some more links to check out:
  • Here's a peek at the Ferrell Dodger game-used jersey that will be on auction at  I'll be sure to let you all know when it comes up for sale.

  • Via Dave Cameron at FanGraphs, "The Dodgers Already Have Hector Olivera."  Cameron makes a good argument why the Dodger don't need him because they already have a player who is just like him.  And it's not who you might expect.
However, when reading scouting reports about Olivera’s expected performance, I can’t shake the idea that the Dodgers already have this player; he just goes by the name of Justin Turner.
  • Via Jon Heyman at CBS Sports, "Olivera is hot item, but there's elbow mystery; Dodgers seek 2nd MRI."   Olivera has apparently declined to provide it.  If this is the case then I think that should end our pursuit of him
  • Via Matthew Moreno at Dodgers Nation, "Dodgers Spring Training Video: Greinke Working On Improving Slider."
  • Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "Hyun-jin Ryu sets tone for Dodgers in Cactus League debut."  He went two innings, retired all 6 batters he faced and threw only thirty pitches.
"I felt great," Ryu said after his performance. "I didn't really think about it as a regular game. It was more like a preparation for the regular season, to get healthy."
  • Topps newest online exclusive card offering is called "Past, Present & Future," and as the name suggest it includes three Dodgers' on a single card.  There are two different versions, and three variations available (#/99, #/10 & #/1).  Check them both out below.  Go here to see them at the Topps website.  BTW, the "1 of 1" variations have already been sold. 

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *