Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers made several roster moves today to set their 25-man roster as the season begins tomorrow. They placed Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly on the 15-day disabled list and moved Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang to the bullpen. Hanley Ramirez and Scott Elbert are also on the DL. Billingsley’s placement on the list was backdated to March 22, so he’s eligible to come off no later than April 13. As Gurnick says, that means they’ll have to make another personnel decison on that date.
It looks as though Justin Sellers will start at shortstop for the start of the season, meaning Luis Cruz will likely be the starting third baseman. The two of them may rotate with Punto and Uribe (Yes, Uribe is still on the major league roster. The only reason I can think of is that he’s under contract and the team sees enough value in him not to release him outright and eat the last year of his deal).
Pitchers — Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Josh Beckett, Zack Greinke, Brandon League, Kenley Jansen, Ronald Belisario, J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, Matt Guerrier, Capuano, Harang
Catchers — A.J. Ellis, Tim Federowicz
Infielders — Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis, Sellers, Cruz, Juan Uribe, Nick Punto
Outfielders — Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Skip Schumaker, Jerry Hairston
Tonight’s game is at Dodger Stadium. It’s on KCAL and streamed live on MLB.tv. No lineups have been posted yet, but the Dodgers will send Josh Beckett out against the Angels’ Jason Vargas.
M Ellis 2B
AJ Ellis C
By the way, the stadium underwent a lot of upgrades during the offseason. Here’s a list of some of them:
New sound system designed to minimize echoes and sound migration outside the stadium
A state-of-the-art Wi-Fi network and cellular antenna system to support cell-phone and internet connectivity from mobile devices (not ready until June, the team says)
Wider concourses and additional locations for wheelchair-bound fans and their companions on all levels, as well as “drink rails” for fans who may wish to leave their seats during the game to explore the stadium
Expanded and renovated restrooms with substantially more fixtures
Food service enhancements to Loge, Reserve and Top Deck levels, including new concession stands, cooking facilities and menus
New entry plazas on the Reserve and Top Deck levels featuring life-size bobbleheads and 5-foot replicas of Dodger Cy Young Award winners, autographed baseballs and Hall of Fame retired numbers
Kids play areas have been created on the Reserve level
A new home team clubhouse, expanded and enhanced training/conditioning areas, and new indoor batting cages for both teams
The first game of the Freeway Series tonight is on Prime Ticket at 7:05 PM from Anaheim. It’s also the free game on MLB.tv. The lineups are not yet available. We do know that Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch for the Dodgers against old friend (well, acquaintance might be better, for as little time as he spent with the team) Joe Blanton.
As Dale mentioned in the comments below, the Dodgers optioned Dee Gordon to Albuquerque today and sent Yasiel Puig to AA Chattanooga, saying both players need more time to play regularly.
In addition, the team announced that Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game Two of the season on April 2 against the Giants. Kershaw will pitch Opening Day April 1st, Josh Beckett will pitch Game Three and Zack Greinke will pitch Game Four. Chad Billingsley will pitch a minor league game Friday, March 29 and will go into the rotation after the first four pitch. There’s an off day after each of the first two three-game series the Dodgers play, so there will be a slot for Billingsley in one of those six games.
Update: The Dodger Stadium Express shuttle will run from Union Station downtown to the stadium: “. . . for the first time, a dedicated bus lane on Sunset Boulevard has been established that should speed up the process. Game-day tickets will be honored as payment to ride the service and the shuttle operates 90 minutes before first pitch and 45 minutes after the game.”
Update: Jon posits that there are never too many starters on the staff, so the Dodgers shouldn’t be in a hurry to trade any of the current overabundance.
The last thing the Dodgers should do is rush into a low-value trade of one of their excess starting pitchers – Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang or Ted Lilly – just so they can make room for a Wall or Kevin Gregg in the back of their bullpen.
Absolutely. Better to keep the veterans up and the rookies down unless there’s a fantastic opportunity to fill a hole in the infield, and what are the odds any team in the majors has that much interest in any of these three serviceable but not spectacular pitchers?
That thumb that Ramirez injured in the WBC requires surgery to repair the ligament which stabilizes the thumb. The digit will be immobilized for three weeks before he can start using it again. I remember this. I broke a ring finger when I was about ten and wore a boxing glove-like soft cast to keep it from moving around. All summer. In Palos Verdes.
Anyway, it looks like Luis Cruz will play short, unless the Dodgers suck it up and play Dee Gordon there. That would leave Cruz at third. Otherwise they could platoon Uribe, Hairston and Punto at Cruz’s former spot at the hot corner.
Those guys strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers, I’m sure.
Update: In other personnel news, Guerra and Gwynn have been cut and sent to Albuquerque, as were Tolleson and Justin Sellers. They also cut Dallas McPherson, Ramon Castro, and Nick Evans.
I just realized it. The game started 45 minutes ago, and the D-Backs lead 3 – 0 in the third. Josh Wall started, went two innings and was relieved by Peter Moylan. Crawford is hitting leadoff and singled in the third.
In personnel news, the team reassigned Tony Gwynn and Wilkin Castillo to Albuquerque and released Ramon Castro.
Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley both were relieved of their starting assignments today and tomorrow respectively, Beckett with the flu and Billingsley with a bruised right index finger. Greinke is set to start on Wednesday.
Update: Chad Moriyama has injury updates on Hanley Ramirez, Greinke, Billingsley, Crawford, Beckett, Withrow and Gordon. The most serious of these may be Ramirez’s thumb, which he jammed playing in the title game of the WBC yesterday. He dove for a ground ball while playing third. He stayed in for another at-bat and even got a hit, but he came out after that. He’ll have an MRI today at Camelback Ranch.
I asked Jon if he planned to do one of these this year and he said no. On the theory that some of us might want to play, I just set up a group. Pick your bracket this afternoon when the selections are announced!