Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 10 / Road Game 6 - It's the Will Ferrell Show

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 (4-2-3) at San Diego Padres (4-4)
Thursday, March 12, 2015 – 6:15 p.m. MT | Peoria Stadium

LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-0) vs. RHP James Shields (1-0)
TV: SNLA/MLB Network Radio: None
(Lineup via @Dodgers on twitter)
(Kendricks and Puig, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015)

WE SIGNED WHO?: The Dodgers play their first night game of the spring tonight against the San Diego Padres in Peoria. The game was originally scheduled to take place at 1:05 p.m., but was moved to 6:15 to accommodate the newest Dodger, Will Ferrell. The Dodgers lost for just the second time in Cactus League action yesterday, falling to the Cubs, 4-3. Los Angeles and San Diego will also meet on March 25 in Glendale, before the main event, Opening Day, April 6, at Dodger Stadium, which is just 25 days away.

ACTUALLY A PRETTY NICE LITTLE THURSDAY, WE’RE GOING TO GO TO HOME DEPOT…MAYBE BED, BATH & BEYOND, I DON’T KNOW, I DON’T KNOW IF WE’LL HAVE ENOUGH TIME: All afternoon and later this evening, actor and comedian Will Ferrell will be suiting up for 10 MLB Cactus League teams – including the Dodgers – to benefit cancer charities. Ferrell is honoring the 50th anniversary of Bert Campaneris playing all nine positions in one game, in 1965, and will play all nine positions (and DH) during the course of the day in the following Cactus League games: Mariners at Athletics, noon; Cubs at Angels, 1:10 p.m.; Reds at D-backs, 2:10 p.m.; Giants at White Sox, 4:05 p.m.; Dodgers at Padres, 6:15 p.m. Ferrell’s efforts are part of a special for HBO airing later this year in collaboration with MLB Media and the production team at Funny Or Die. HBO is donating proceeds to Cancer for College, and MLB is raising additional money for that cause in addition to Stand Up To Cancer through the auction of game-used, autographed gear and equipment featured throughout this one-of-a-kind project. Ferrell will be pitching for the Dodgers, playing the outfield for the Padres and umpiring during tonight’s contest, which will air on SportsNet LA and MLB Network.

LOOK RYU’S BACK: The Dodgers welcomed starter Zack Greinke back to the fold yesterday and he tossed 2.0 innings and allowed two runs against the Cubs in Mesa. Tonight, the club will see Hyun-Jin Ryu take the mound for the first time this spring after dealing with back tightness the first couple weeks. Following Greinke to the mound yesterday and tossing scoreless baseball were David Huff (1.2 IP), Zach Lee (2.0) and Chris Reed (1.0). At the plate, Justin Turner singled and doubled, raising his average to .308 this spring while Howie Kendrick’s two hits lifted his average to .333. Scott Schebler had one plate appearance and walked, giving him a .429/.467/.857 slash line in seven Cactus League games. 
  • The Dodgers have committed just three errors through their first nine Cactus League contests.
  • Los Angeles pitchers have combined to post a 3.49 ERA and limit opposing hitters to a .213 batting average this spring, striking out 62 and walking just 20 in 80.0 innings.
(Julio Urias, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015)

ON THE MOUND: 28-year-old left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his first start of the spring tonight. Ryu enters his third Major League season after seven All-Star seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization. He has a 28-15 record and a 3.17 ERA in 56 career regular-season starts and has gone 1-0 with a 2.81 ERA (5 ER/16.0 IP) in three postseason starts. Ryu’s 28 regular-season victories tie for the third-most by a Korean-born pitcher.
  • LHP Adam Liberatore is expected to make his third appearance of the spring tonight after tossing a scoreless inning in the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the Brewers last Sunday. During the course of his career, the hard-throwing lefty has limited opponents to a .242 batting average with nearly a strikeout per inning (309 SO/318.0 IP).
  • LHP Ryan Buchter will make his third appearance of the spring tonight after giving up one run and striking out the side in an inning of relief in Sunday’s win against the Brewers. Buchter saw his first MLB action with one relief appearance for Atlanta last year and has gone 32-18 with a 3.44 ERA in 327 games (two starts) in nine minor league season in the Nationals (2006-2008), Cubs (2009-2011), and Braves (2011-2014) organizations.
  • RHP Mike Bolsinger is also expected to see action tonight after giving up one run on two hits in two innings of work on Saturday. The 27-year-old saw his first big league action with the D-backs last season, striking out nearly three times as many as he walked with 48 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 10 games (nine starts).
  • Veteran RHP Chad Gaudin is expected to appear in tonight’s game, after pitching two scoreless innings of relief in his first action of the spring on Saturday. Gaudin last pitched during the 2013 season for San Francisco, going 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 30 games (12 starts).
  • RHP Sergio Santos will make his third appearance of the spring tonight after tossing a scoreless inning of relief in Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Brewers. The Los Angeles native has gone 7-12 with 39 saves and a 3.89 ERA in 180 games in five Major League seasons with the White Sox (2010-11) and Blue Jays (2012-14).
  • RHP Josh Ravin will also make his third appearance of the spring tonight after striking out two in an inning of relief last Sunday against the Brewers. The West Hills native enters his second season in the Dodger organization and 10th professional campaign.

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 6-8 p.m. tomorrow night and from noon-2 p.m. on Saturday.     
(Hernandez and Kendricks, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015)

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

Welcome to the Blue, Will Ferrell!

Things are getting a little goofy around here!

Spring isn't just about practice and getting prepared for the long season.  No way!  It's also about having some fun.  And if you can tie in a great cause like fighting cancer then all the better.

(Fantasy card via @Dodgers on twitter)
As a part of HBO's "Funny or Die" series, Will Ferrell will traverse the desert landscape of Arizona's Cactus League to play every position on the field (including DH) for every team playing.  So that's ten positions for ten teams on one day.

That's awesome... And amazing... And considering how bad traffic is throughout the Phoenix area, it's an unbelievable task.  Have no fears, though, he'll be traveling to and fro with the help of an helicopter; which I suspect will supply endless opportunities for him to make a grand entrance.

The spectacle is in honor of Bert "Campy" Campaneris, who achieved the same feat some five decades ago, and as I said above the event will also assist organizations dedicated to fighting cancer, including Cancer for College and Stand Up To Cancer.  A large part of the fund raising effort will be an auction of game-used memorabilia from his journey that will be auctioned at later this year.  I'll be sure to highlight this when it is available to view.

Below is a schedule of his planned appearances:
12:05 p.m. - Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics (HoHoKam Stadium)
1:10 p.m. - Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Tempe Diablo Stadium)
2:10 p.m. - Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks (Salt River Fields at Talking Stick)
4:05 p.m. - San Francisco Giants at Chicago White Sox (ss) (Camelback Ranch)
6:15 p.m. - Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres (Peoria Stadium)
BTW, you can follow the entire thing on twitter by following the hashtag: #ferrelltakesthefield.  Also, the Dodger game, that was originally scheduled for the early afternoon, will be televised on the MLB Network for all to see. 

There's no word yet on what position Ferrell will play for the Dodgers, but I'm hoping he pitches.  His bit a few years back as minor league journeyman pitcher Rojo Johnson was priceless.  Check out my little story about that here (including video).

In celebration of Ferrell's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photo taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013 during the 2013 NLCS against the Cardinals and the 1974 Topps Baseball card design.  Also, MLB made their own fantasy card that you can see above (on the right side).

On a side note, it's about 10:00 AM right now and Ferrell is already in character for the day.  He has been seen at HoHoKam Stadium in an A's uniform.  Check out a pic tweeted out below:

UPDATE:  Here's a video about the day Bert Campaneris did it in 1965.

Video Link:

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

Blog Kiosk: 3/12/2015 - Dodger Links - Some Odds and Ends

The Dodgers 2015 Yearbook will feature Fernando Valenzuela on the cover and includes a 21-page exposé entirely devoted to his life and career.  This coming season marks the 34th anniversary of his first full year in MLB in 1981 (he also happened to wear the #34 throughout his Dodger career) that saw the birth of Baseball's greatest sensation; "Fernandomania."  You can go here to order.

Below are some more links to check out:
"It might be a bad outing on paper, but I take it as a good day because I can work on what failed today," Urias said.
"I actually started some preparation in early February," Scully said. "I've kind of skimmed the cream off the top of five teams. I've done the Dodgers. I prepared for San Diego because they're Opening Day.

"I prepared for San Francisco. I prepared for Seattle because they're early in the season. I prepared for the Angels because we'll have three exhibition games with them. It never stops. I could pick up a newspaper, read something, cut it out, put it in a folder and later transfer it to the book about that team. I just accumulate all year long. In February, I really start to work a little bit."

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