Jeepers. This Australia trip has done severe damage to the Spring Training schedule. The halt, the lame and the blind may get put on a short-term DL, those who don’t measure up may be cut early, and even the healthy may not be ready to pitch. According to the team website (via Jon W), they’re not even sure Kershaw will be ready to pitch on Opening Day in Australia.

The Dodgers will have only 19 days of Spring Training games to make nearly all of their decisions. Last spring, they played 36 games before Opening Day.

“It’s not a perfect situation,” said manager Don Mattingly, “but it’s good for the game.”

Even though the 25-man roster officially doesn’t need to be submitted until March 21 at 1 p.m. PT, the Dodgers and D-backs will break camp on March 16 and take a maximum of 30 players to Australia from which to draw their 25-man Opening Day rosters.

Yikes. The only consolation for this is that the team which might be their strongest rival within the division is having to do precisely the same thing, since the D-Backs are the opponents in Oz.

71 thoughts on “Short-timers!

    • Boy have times changed! Amid all of Gammon’s star gazing and speculation about their health, Uribear gets free ride at 3rd base

  1. Well, guess with the Grand Slam it shows us why the Dodgers need Guerrero, not Gordon. It is hard to overcome a sponsor however.

    • Gordon is being given one last shot before he and the Dodgers go their separate ways to see if he can work out as a utility player. Seems reasonable to me. If he goes into the season as the starting/platooning 2nd baseman it will be because the organization doesn’t think that Guerrero is ready yet and that Gordon won’t be a disaster in the meantime filling in for him.

      • Saying Guerrero is not ready is like saying Puig was not ready last year. Saying Guerrero is not ready is only to give Gordon another chance. Gordon has been given many opportunities but has failed but yet for some reason he continues to be GIVEN more chances than an above average prospect. Just having speed does not warrant being given a job. Just ask Pierre. I predict that he will be given a job again this year, ahead of whoever they want to put him.

        • I don’t think that they signed a $28 million contract with Guerrero so that he can sit in the minors while Dee patrols second base.

  2. With all of the Dodger hitting experts it was Barry Larkin that taught Gordon how to get around on inside pitches. Apparently, pitchers were pitching Gordon inside with fastballs and he wasn’t adjusting until larkin showed him how.

  3. How hard would it be for Jon to have a kemp daily update. For example:
    Kemp ran at 3/4 speed in a straight line today without experiencing any pain.
    Kemp ran at half speed around the bases without experiencing pain.
    Kemp should run full speed in a straight line Thursday.

    • From the Peter Gammons article I linked to here:

      “Part of the plan with Matt is not to have a plan,” says Mattingly. “I
      don’t want him worrying about being behind, or not making some deadline.
      He just needs to get healthy.”

      Which would seem to indicate they’re not doing daily measurements of the kind you’re desirous of.

      • Kemp is doing things and I just would like to see what that is daily. Not suggesting tracking if he is on schedule, just what he did and how it felt.

  4. I came across a small clock that I have kept for some reason but don’t keep plugged in because it refuses to let me correct the time. I took one more look at it before throwing it away. I plug it in and it is 15 minutes fast. I am thinking what are the chances that it would be that close to the right time. I try to correct the time and again it won’t let me.

    I see that there is a battery compartment so I open it and there is no battery. So, I buy a 9v battery, plug the clock in, insert the battery and I am again 15 minutes fast. Weird. I still can’t change the time. My wife will not let me put the clock where I want it because it is 15 minutes too fast. Me, I would probably just subtract 15 and let it be.

    So, instead of hitting it with a hammer I decide to throw it away but, that would not be environmentally correct would it. Geeeeze.

    Run Gordon Run.

    • Or Turner or Rojas, but Gordon has certainly had a good showing thus far.

  5. OK, question time– Box @ lists Guerra with a blown save today, 5th inning. 2 hits given up…but no runs. No inherited runners scored. He started and finished the 5th, no runs. Did not pitch in the 6th, when Reed’s mess happened.

    So how can you blow a save in his situation?

    Looks a little like the story about the guy convicted of consipracy to commit murder after it was found that no murder actually was committed. He asked just exactly what it was he was supposed to be guilty of conspiring to do……

    • Or the guy who murdered his parents and threw himself on the mercy of the court because he was an orphan.

      I don’t see a save situation in the game at all, for Guerra or anyone else. I think that was an error on the part of the typist.

  6. If anybody plans to join John_from_Aus at the games at the Sydney Cricket Ground, get on the stick. From the story he linked to below, there are “only 1000 tickets left.”

  7. Dodgers lose 6 – 5, but Haren was effective in his first start of the spring. He worked two innings and gave up one run on three hits. Long-time minor leaguer Clint Robinson, who homered yesterday, had two more hits today.

    • Robinson is interesting. Bunch of HRs in the minors but not even a cup of coffee in the majors–more like a whiff of leftover coffee grounds.

      Based on early indicators, maybe he can hang with ABQ. Dunno if he’s 1B only.

    • I always imagine cricket players standing around on the grass drinking tea, so no dugouts, right?,

      • At my local cricket club (very social), it’s beer (at times during play) and a B.B.Q sausages afterwards. 🙂

  8. Good line about Pederson HR, from Dodger Digest:

    “Today in Arizona, Joc Pederson did the second-best thing to taking a five-iron to Matt Kemp‘s ankle in terms of trying to make the team: he took Chicago’s Jake Petricka deep down the left field line…”

  9. So Greinke throws four pitches and comes out with a mild calf strain, Crawford sat out with a tight quad muscle, and A.J. Ellis has the flu.

    On the other hand, Uribe homered, Guerrero and Brendan Harris singled in runs and the Dodgers won the game against the D-Backs today.

  10. Noticed old friend John Ely with Boston….if he pitches for the big club, wonder how will his stuff play in AL East parks–or, more likely, out of them, bouncing around outfield bleachers. Don’t wish him or anyone grief, but he’ll be challenged, to understate..

    Also saw a while back Brett Tomko was pitching in the DR, throwing 92-94. At 40, was after a minor league deal with big-league invite. Bombko last appeared in MLB in 2011 when he made 8 relief appearances for the Rangers…and gave up only 4 dingers over 17 IP

    Cam he inflict himself on yet another unfortunate, unknowing MLB team in 2014? Like maybe the D-backs, he said, hopefully.

    • Tomko’s return to the Gnats would be ideal, also. I did enjoy seeing Ely beat them at The Phone Booth To Be Gnamed Later.

  11. Pederson starts season in CF. I like it even if he isn’t on the 25 man team after return from Australia.

    • Really like him knocking on the door, but don’t want to rush him. I think we get to have Dee as back up CF to Ethier moving over there again until KEMVP returns.

    • I have to assume that swinging a bat and throwing a ball has not resulted in any pain in his foot otherwise this Friday’s MRI would not be so intriguing. MRI = Matt Returns Immediately to KMVP

  12. From item on Bills’ progress–

    ” The elbow started bugging me back in 2008 and it was a gradual deterioration from there, so it’s nice to wake up in the morning and not feel like it’s stiff and sore. It’s a different feeling than I’ve felt in a long time. It’s nice to throw without pain.”

    Could explain a lot of inconsistency, control issues, 6th inning brick walls, and maybe more. If it was “bugging” him all that time, he for sure wasn’t at his best physically.

    • If I’m in the front office and/or on the medical staff I say something like “Why the heck did you wait years to complain to us about it?!? Don’t you ever do that again!”

      I put up a big notice in the clubhouse saying the same thing, too.

  13. WOW!! I am a pretty outspoken guy but I never would have said what Grienke said even if I thought it. Get ready for some boos,huh??

      • It may be more likely that he sees it as interference for normal ST routine and therefore a hassle that hurts season preparation & puts the team at a disadvantage, jet lag, yada yada, rather than anything personal v Aus.

        He probably wouldn’t want to open in Japan on this same schedule either.

        But yes, no matter his intent, the front office may want to ‘splain to him that tact is not something you put rugs down with. That foot is wedged in his mouth pretty tightly.

        Grienke by all accounts of struggling with depression, etc. does not see things the way most people do.

        I’d think most of the team sees it as an adventure that breaks the
        monotony of one ST and as something only one other team gets to do.

    • Love the comments in that link. I guess Greinke really wanted to give the Snakes the home field advantage.

    • John, thought of you on seeing this. Commenter name sounds kinda familiar; he may have been on DT at one time. First comment below story, also a few afterward.
      I have tickets to both games, and also to the Dodgers warm up game against Team Australia. Can’t wait! First Dodgers’ games attended since 1987.

      Long time reader, first time poster!

      by leecorbett on Feb 20, 2014 | 6:17 PM
      I’ve lived here since 1988. Lived in LA when I was young, and got hooked. Always wore no 55 since then, as Orel was my favourite player as a kid.
      by leecorbett on Feb 20, 2014 | 6:24 PM

      A couple more comments in the interplay following that about “rooting” for your team are, um, interesting.

  14. In terms of the cuts, aren’t they pretty much set, apart from a couple of utility infielders and the bottom of the pen, since they seem to have already decided to send Guerrero down. Of course, not having pitchers ready is not good as they have an early schedule heavy with snakes and giants. They also have a week off between snakes and first game on US soil! Wonder how they fill that time.

    • Recover from jet lag, first. They have to play the Angels three games starting Thursday the 27th of March, and it looks like they don’t get back from Oz until Monday or Tuesday of that week.

      • OK, so they play exhibition games after the start. Would guess that a bunch of Isotopes would be called back to serve as well, no? Arrived, myself, in Jakarta about a week ago and still a bit jet laggy. My experience has been that its actually tougher arriving back in the States.
        Any local exhibitions planned in ‘Stralia? I am intrigued about the extra five players going on the trip and about how that will work out. It’s a long way to go to get cut!