Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: 3/19/2015 - Happy Birthday Clayton Kershaw

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.

(Camelback Ranch, pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

MARCH MADNESS: The Dodgers, who have the Cactus League’s best winning percentage at .727,  take on the Angels in the first of five meetings between the clubs during the exhibition season. Los Angeles won the season series between the clubs last year, 3-1, and the clubs will meet six times during the regular season in 2015, July 31-Aug. 2 at Dodger Stadium and Sept. 7-9 at Angel Stadium.
  • The Freeway Series begins exactly two weeks from today, Thursday, April 2 in Anaheim. The Dodgers and Angels will play two 7:05 p.m. games at Angel Stadium before the series shifs to Los Angeles for a 6:10 p.m. game on Saturday, April 4. In anticipation of the Freeway Series, the clubs partnered on a billboard in Hollywood to celebrate the 2014 Most Valuable Player Awards of Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout, with the script “Is Your MVP Red Or Blue.” Fans are encouraged to show their support by utilizing the hashtags #MVPKersh and #MVPTrout.
  • Today’s Angels starter Andrew Heaney was briefly a Dodger when the club acquired the left-hander from the Marlins on Dec. 10 as part of a seven-player deal and subsequently traded him to their I-5 rivals in exchange for Howie Kendrick. Kendrick played the first nine seasons of his career with the Angels from 2006-14 and ranks among the franchise’s all-time leaders (min. 3000 PA) in games played (1,081, 9th), runs (534, 9th), hits (1,204, 6th), batting average (.292, 4th), doubles (249, 5th) and triples (30, T-7th) and is the club’s all-time leader in hits by a second baseman. Kendrick is not expected to play today, but is batting .400 (10-for-25) with a homer and six RBI in 10 games this spring.

(Rain, Rain, Go Away!  At Camelback Ranch, pic via Kevin Baxter on twitter)

ROSTER UPDATE: Following yesterday’s game, the Dodgers optioned OF Scott Schebler and reassigned IF Buck Britton, IF/OF Darnell Sweeney, C Shawn Zarraga, IF Corey Seager and C Chris O’Brien to minor league camp.  Including Brandon Beachy and Chris Withrow, who are on the 60-day disabled list, the Dodgers have 44 players remaining in big league camp.

DOWNER: The Dodgers had their six-game unbeaten streak come to an end yesterday, falling, 7-5 to the Cubs. Two Dodger hitters posted multi-hit games to raise their batting averages to .400, as Joc Pederson went 3-for-3 with a three-run homer to push his average to .429 and Howie Kendrick added two singles to reach the .400 mark on the spring. Brandon McCarthy took the loss in his third start of the spring, allowing six runs on eight hits in 4.0 innings.
  • Los Angeles had 12 hits yesterday to increase the club’s batting average to .271 on the spring.

TEXAS TWO-STEP: Big League Weekend, with the Dodgers taking on the Rangers Friday night and Saturday afternoon at the Alamodome in San Antonio, is almost here! The traveling party, which includes starters  Erik Bedard and Zack Greinke along with Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, and Joc Pederson, departs Camelback Ranch this evening for the brief two-day trip to Texas.

ON THE MOUND: Left-hander Brett Anderson will make his third Cactus League start today, last pitching 3.0 scoreless innings in a win over the Indians Saturday. He has allowed only three hits in 5.0 scoreless innings this spring.
  • RHP Chris Hatcher is expected to make his fifth appearance of the spring today, last pitching on Monday against the A’s.
  • RHP Yimi Garcia is also expected to see action today, last pitching on Monday against the A’s. Garcia has allowed only one hit and struck out three in 4.0 scoreless innings this spring.
  • RHP Joel Peralta will make his third Cactus League appearance today, last pitching a scoreless inning on Monday against the A’s.
(Clayton Kershaw, screengrab from MLB video Ping Pong)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy 27th birthday to Clayton Kershaw today! Kershaw became the first-ever player to win three Cy Young Awards before the age of 27 when he was honored with both the Cy Young and MVP awards this past November.

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Domingo! Domingo! Ayala Visted Dodgers Last Week (Video)

Who is Domingo Ayala?

I wonder this every time I see his name, or run across a video online. 

Domingo Ayala is a self-professed Baseball prodigy born in the Dominican Republic, and over the past several years he has traveled the Baseball version of the Silk Road for a shot at the big leagues.  And he is also hilarious.

Just check out his numerous videos online (here) and follow him on twitter (@DomingoBeisbol) for daily highlights to see what I mean.  Ayala ably parodies many of the stereotypes seen from Latin American ballplayers, and does it in a way that puts a smile on your face.  He is far from abrasive.  Instead, you come away with only positive vibes.

It is no surprise that he is well known throughout the Baseball universe, and it's no wonder that team after team is more than happy to have him come by for a visit.  In fact, last week Domingo Ayala visited the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch and spend some time practicing on the field, taking batting practice and gave the club a fun presentation in the clubhouse.  Fortunately, there are photos abound and a video to prove it all.  Check them out below.
(Pederson and Turner with Ayala, pic via Pederson on twitter)

Dodger prospect Enrique Kike Hernandez shared a short video on twitter of Ayala's clubhouse talk.

And here is a video shared today by Ayala of his exploits with the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch.  He promises more, so stay tuned.

Video Link:

Photo at the very top, via Domingo Ayala on twitter.

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2015 Topps Opening Day - The Dodger Base and Variation Cards

I always wonder if we really need this set?

It just seems superfluous.  The design and a majority of the photos used are an exact carbon copy of the Topps flagship set released a couple of weeks ago.  Of course, you get the snazzy looking "Opening Day" logo on the card, but is that really worthy of a whole new card brand?  On the plus side, this set is more affordable; therefore, it's geared to kids and the budget minded.

Having said all that, we do get a glimpse at Jimmy Rollins first official Topps card as a Dodger.  So, that's cool.  And a couple of the variations use some great photos (see those at the very bottom).  Go here for a complete checklist of the set.

BTW, I used the "Blue" parallel versions of the Adrian Gonzalez and Zack Greinke cards below - which look awesome.  They should've made all the Dodger cards like that.

#40 Clayton Kershaw                               #63 Adrian Gonzalez

Blog Kiosk: 3/19/2015 - Dodger Links - McCarthy, Pederson and the Dodger Ping Pong Champions

Dodger hurler Brandon McCarthy had a terrible outing during his third stint this spring.  Pitching against the Cubs, he gave up six runs on eight hits in four innings.  Fortunately, McCarthy sees his poor start as a teaching moment.  Via Mark Saxon at
"I kind of like sometimes failing in spring because it gives you a better idea of what you need to do," McCarthy said. "It kind of takes off the bulletproof sheen that you get in the offseason of, ‘I'm going to win the Cy Young this year and everything's going to be where I want it,' and you realize right away it's still just as hard as you remember."
The photo above of McCarthy signing a Baseball via Gisselle Ruiz and shared on twitter.  Below are some more links to check out:
But the real game-changer, particularly with my son, was Yasiel Puig. At some point in the past two years he heard me saying something about Puig. Maybe while doing a radio spot, maybe while just talking, but he knows that I talk about Puig differently than I talk about other players. He asked me why that was one time and I explained how Puig is different than a lot of other guys for many reasons.
  • I think it's fair to say that Joc will be our starting center fielder.  Via Mike Bauman at, "Pederson letting play make case for starting job."
"What I like with Joc now is he's staying in the middle of the field; earlier on, it was a little bit pull," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "His at-bats are good and he seems to be able to get himself a good pitch to hit. That's as key as anything."
  • Scott Killeen at Sons of Steve Garvey shares even more photos of Tommy Lasorda at Camelback Ranch, here.
  • Via Ken Gurnick at, "Guerrero's defense catching up with touted offense."
  • Via Chris Cwik at Big League Stew, "Will Ferrell reflects on his wacky baseball experiment with David Letterman."  There's a video of his appearance to watch.
  • Also, Brad Mangin (a photographer for Sports Illustrated) shares a bunch of his pics featuring Will Farrell during his spring training escapades on his blog.  Go here to check those out.  Mangin was there for the entire thing.
  • Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager are the Dodgers 2015 Spring Training Ping Pong Champions!  Watch a bit of it below.  BTW, the giant head cutout of Justin Turner being hoisted around by Darwin Barney once belonged to former MLB FanCave participant Aaron Roberts.  Per his twitter, he traded it to Barney for a couple of balls.

Video Link:

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