Sunday, February 09, 2014

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Pitchers & Catchers Workout #1

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.
(pic via alannalynn17 on twitter)

LACE ‘EM UP: The Dodgers opened their sixth Spring Training at Camelback Ranch – Glendale today with 32 pitchers (seven non-roster) and seven catchers (four non-roster) working out for the first time. The club will open their Spring Training schedule on Wednesday, February 26 against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Talking Stick, with their first home game the following day, also against the D-backs in Glendale. The Dodgers will play a total of 11 games at Camelback Ranch this year on three Spring Training weekends.
(pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

BATTERY POWERED: Pitching has traditionally been a strength of the Dodger organization and last season was no different as the Dodgers ranked second in the Majors with a 3.25 team ERA and established a franchise record with 1,292 strikeouts. Today, half of the Dodgers’ 2014 pitching staff threw their first official bullpens of the spring, including the National League’s reigning Cy Young Award winner, Clayton Kershaw, along with new acquisitions and former All-Stars Dan Haren and Chris Perez. In addition, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brian Wilson, J.P. Howell, Javy Guerra, Seth Rosin, Jose Dominguez and Matt Magill and non-roster invitees Ross Stripling, Chris Reed, Daniel Moskos, Sam Demel tossed their first ‘pens of the new season this morning.
  • Haren, a three-time All-Star (2007-09), joins the Dodgers after going 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA in 31 games (30 starts) for Washington last year. The 11-year MLB veteran was one of the game’s top pitchers from July 27 through the conclusion of the 2013 season, sporting a 6-3 record with a 3.14 ERA (25 ER/71.2 IP) and holding opponents to a .224 batting average, which was the sixth-best mark in the NL during that span (min. 70.0 IP).
  • Perez, an American League All-Star in 2011 and 2012, joins the Dodgers after spending the last five seasons with the Indians. Last year, the 28-year-old went 5-3 and saved 25 games in 30 chances (11th, AL) for Cleveland. His season ERA of 4.33 was inflated by four outings in which he gave up 15 runs in 2.1 innings and without those contests, Perez would have posted a 1.92 ERA in 50 games (51.2 innings). 

AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE: This year, an early report date means an early exit from Arizona as the Dodgers will depart the Valley of the Sun on March 16 for Sydney, Australia. Once Down Under, Los Angeles will battle the D-backs on March 22-23 in Major League Baseball’s Opening Series, which will mark MLB’s first regular season games ever to be staged in Australia. The Dodgers will return stateside and play three exhibitions against the Angels in the Freeway Series before opening the “North American” portion of their schedule on March 30 at San Diego on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

ON THE DOTTED LINE: Yesterday, the Dodgers boosted their starting rotation depth with the signing of left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm to a one-year contract. Maholm (pronounced, muh-HAHL-uhm) was at the club’s facility for a physical yesterday and donned Dodger blue for the first time today at the team’s workout. The 31-year-old spent the 2013 season with the Braves, going 10-11 with a 4.41 ERA in 26 starts as he reached double-digit victories for the second consecutive season. During the course of his career, the nine-year MLB veteran has been especially tough against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .225/.287/.318 slashline.
  • In a corresponding move, the Dodgers placed left-hander Scott Elbert on the 60-day disabled list.

NEW FACES: This year, the Dodgers will have a few new faces on the medical side as the club welcomes Steve Smith and Brian Stoneberg to the Major League staff. In his third year in the organization, Stoneberg will join Brandon McDaniel as a Major League strength and conditioning coach after serving as the club’s minor league strength and conditioning coordinator in 2012-13. Smith will also enter his third season with the organization and will join the big league staff as the physical therapist after serving as the club’s medical/rehabilitation coordinator for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
  • Yesterday, the Dodgers medical staff welcomed its newest member as Brandon McDaniel and his wife, Andrea, celebrated the birth of their first child, Caleb. Congratulations to the McDaniel Family!
(pic via @SportsNetLA on twitter)

: Also among the new faces at Camelback Ranch are Marina Mackrow and Dave Strumpf from SportsNet LA, the Dodgers’ new 24/7 television home, who are gathering content for a new behind-the-scenes show on the network, Dodgers: Backstage. SportsNet LA, which launches on February 25, will televise all of this year’s Dodger Cactus League games, with the exception of two split-squad games, giving fans more Spring Training coverage than ever before. In addition to airing games during Spring Training, SportsNet LA will also air a nightly show, “Access SportsNet: Dodgers,” at 7:00 p.m. PT.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Exhibit in Gardena

Thanks to a blog post by Roberto Baly of Vin Scully is My Homeboy, I visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Exhibit in Gardena, and it was well worth the time.  I had known that the museum sponsored a travelling exhibit, so when I found out they were nearby, I had to check it out.  Unfortunately, it's not a particularly large exhibit (just a single room), but there were some notable items to see.  One of these days, I will make a trip to Kansas City to see the actual museum.

For those interested in this exhibit, it is at the Nakaoka Community Center at 1670 West 162nd Street in Gardena.  It runs only until Thursday, February 13th, so if you want to check it out you need to get there right away.  Exhibit hours are: 9am - 9pm Monday -Friday, and 9am to 6pm on Sunday.

Now, on to some of my photos.  Click any pic to embiggen. 

There were several large graphic displays featuring Negro League Baseball history.  Did you know that the Kansas City Monarchs were one of the first teams to have night-time Baseball?

Check out this incredible panoramic photograph from Opening Day, 1942.  It featured the Kansas City Monarchs, and includes a couple of notable players.  On the photo on the left, you can see the great Satchel Paige (second on the left) and fellow Hall of Famer Hilton Smith (shortest person on the far right).  On the photo on the right is should-be Hall of Famer Buck O'Neil (at center).

Below is another panoramic team photograph.  It is from Opening Day, 1924.  It includes such greats as Rube Foster, Louis Santop and Biz Mackey.

This next photo is of the famed Pittsburgh area Negro League team, Homestead Grays.  The year the photo was taken wasn't provided.  Also, details about who the players are was also not provided, but I think I recognized a couple of players.  The fellow in the top row, third on the left, looks a lot like Josh Gibson.  In fact, I'm certain that's him.  I also believe that the person on Gibson's right is Cuban great Martin Dihigo.

Here are some more Negro League displays.

There were also several negro league uniforms, that must be reproductions.

The back wall of the room was wonderfully decorated like an outfield wall.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Sunday Dodger Videos: Puig's ESPN Magazine Shoot, Magic on Puig and Steve Lyons

Here are this Sunday's Dodgers' videos.

On the Arsenio Hall Show on Monday: Magic Johnson's Simple Solution To Keep Yasiel Puig Out Of Trouble.  (Hat Tip: Ross Gasmer at Dodger Nation)

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Go behind the scenes with Yasiel Puig on his ESPN The Magazine photo shoot for the magazine's Cuba Issue.

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Eddie Mata shares a great interview with Steve Lyons.  Check it out. I liked Steve as a Dodgers broadcaster.  I hope he catches on with another team or network.

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Sports Speak Radio put together a nice video from the Dodgers FanFest that includes Matt Kemp on stage.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *