Injury Notes

Hospital Ward

Some guys just can’t show up for work healthy every day in Spring Training.

  • Adrian Gonzalez had a relapse of the bulging disk in his neck.  This has been going on for the past five years.  Ah, what a pain in the neck!
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu has publicly stated that he will not be pitching for the Dodgers until sometime in May.
  • Justin Turner is out for the first week of spring training games.  Boy, that micro fracture surgery of the knee takes a little extra recovery time.  At least, this will allow Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley to get some more time in at third base.  I wonder(?) if Alex Guerrero will get any reps at third base in the first week of games.

Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw is just cruising along and will be the opening day starter for the sixth year in a row.

Spring Training Report

camelback_ranch

We haven’t had a new post in a while, so here’s just a few notes about how Spring Training is shaping up.

  • Kent Maeda threw a bullpen set to Yasmani Grandal, and all the Japanese media went nuts.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a bullpen set.  He’s roughly two weeks behind the other pitchers, but that’s not bad.  So far so good.
  • Yasiel Puig showed up at Spring Training in lean form.  He looks about 40 pounds less than his 2015 Spring Training form.
  • The Dodgers signed Yaisel Sierra to a six year, $30 million contract and plan to use him as a starting pitcher.  The guy throws a four-seam fastball up to 98 MPH!
  • Vin Scully will broadcast one game from Arizona, and all three Freeway Series games against the Angels during Spring Training.
  • SNLA will cut production costs by trimming the number of Spring Training games that they televise.
  • During the regular season, Dodger games still will not be available to the majority of television owners in Los Angeles.

Pitchers and Catchers Report in Two Weeks

Kershaw-PFP

 

The baseball drought is almost over.  The Dodgers pitchers and catchers will report to Camelback Park on February 19th, then begin working out the next day.  What is the current state of The Dodgers’ pitching staff?

Starting Pitchers

Clayton Kershaw.  We have basically no questions here.  Kershaw has been a rock solid great starting pitcher for many years now.  Last year, he likely tore off the monkey from his back that was known as “playoff choker”.  He is not that.  He is a reliably great pitcher who could possibly become even better in 2016.

Number two or number one-“B” starting pitcher.  Oh, that was Zack Greinke, and now he is gone.  So who is the replacement?  Well, no one pitcher will replace Greinke on this staff.  Who is number two?  Maybe Scott Kazmir.  A 32 year old pitcher, Scott pitched eleven seasons in the American League before being signed by the Dodgers as a free agent.  Kazmir peaked in 2007, then began struggling with injuries in 2008 and 2009.  He finally dropped completely out of the major leagues in 2011 and 2012, then began his comeback in 2013.  Based on his WHIP’s of 1.16 in 2014 and 1.21 in 2015, it appears that he has been able to breathe new life into his pitching career.

Kenta Maeda is young, posted great numbers in Japan, and may be the only right handed pitcher in the starting rotation this year.

Brett Anderson is an enigma.  We all thought he would fall apart last year, as he had only once previuosly strung together more than 115 innings in one year.  Will he hold up again this year?  Only time will tell.

At first, Alex Wood seemed like a good mid-season pickup.  But he certainly didn’t perform well late in the season, nor in the post season.  He may be in the minors in 2016 if Ryu comes back strong.

Injured arms on their way back:  Hyun Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Brandon Beachy. Beachy is on a road less traveled on his way back from two Tommy John surgeries, and is not even on the 40 man roster.

Others – Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias, Julio Urias, Julian De Leon, Jharrel Cotton,  Zach Lee.  We may not have the best #2-#5 in our rotation, but boy do we have depth.

Bullpen

Kenley Jansen is a perpetual all-star.

Chris Hatcher got stronger late in the year, we can hope he will be a solid set up man.

Yimi Garcia was very good at times, not as good other times.

Pedro Baez does a pretty good job, not great.

J.P. Howell is still hanging around.  Will he become more of a LOOGY this year?

Luis Avilan is a service-able left hander.

Joe Blanton is back, this time as a reliever.

Adam Liberatore (not Lipitor!)

Frankie Montas could be the diamond in the rough.  He flashes a 100 mph fastball, and could be used out of the bullpen or as a starting pitcher.