First Cactus League game is Wednesday

Erik Bedard will start it against the White Sox. He’ll probably go only two innings or so.

Thursday Clayton Kershaw will start, also against the White Sox. Friday is a split-squad day.

In much sadder news, Minnie Minoso passed away today. He was the first black player on either team in Chicago after he was traded to the White Sox in 1951, two years after he came up with the Cleveland Indians. Young people remember him, if they do at all, as the guy who kept getting active long enough to appear in a game or two in the Seventies and Eighties after his 40th birthday as an owner’s gimmick. That’s a shame, as he was a great ballplayer, a nine-time All Star who had nearly 2,000 hits and a career .298 batting average in his 15 years as a regular outfielder in the big leagues.

88 thoughts on “First Cactus League game is Wednesday

  1. Not sure what you mean by a shame. He was activated to get qualified for a pension. Several clubs have done that for players, including the Dodgers. Not sure who the player was with them, I want to say Al Gionfriddo…

        • It’s pretty simple, really. From Wikipedia:

          Minoso first retired from the major leagues following the 1964 season. In 1965, he went to play and manage in Mexico through 1973. He returned to the White Sox as a base coach in 1976, and made brief but highly publicized home plate appearances in three games in 1976 and two in 1980, becoming the third player to get a hit after the age of 50 and the second player to appear in the major leagues in five decades.”

          It was a bit of a gimmick activating him in ’76 and again in ’80 just to get that “five decades” tag attached to him. I wonder if it didn’t hurt him with HoF voters a little bit, since it looked like a stunt.

          • Just standing in the box against MLB pitching at age 50 would seem like a pretty major accomplishment to me.

          • Didn’t mean to say that it was a knock on Minosa. Just meant that it didn’t seem that he had done anything improper. Certainly hitting at age 50 is an accomplishment.

          • Julio Franco managed to be an effective ballplayer to age 46, when he put up an OPS+ of 107 in 2005. Hung around until age 48, when he was still able to get a .250 BA in 45 PA.

  2. I am fluent in Spanish, but not until recently did I realize his surname was actually Miñoso.

  3. They lost! Let the doubting begin!

    Pederson had two hits, Rollins had one. In fact, the Dodgers outhit the White Sox 10-9, but they lost 6-4.

    Kershaw makes his first start of the spring tomorrow, while the White Sox send John Danks out to the hill.

  4. The FO didn’t trade Matty so that Dre could play CF. He needs to get reps in RF, no?

    • I’m not sure those reps will help much. A good CF would have caught that ball yesterday.

      • After all this, ending up with Dre in CF would be considered managerial malpractice. I won’t believe that there is actual completion for starting outfield jobs until I see Puig taking reps in CF.

        • I expect Joc is the guy, with Puig in the corner. Worst case scenario, Joc platoons with Heisey (who hits lefties well).

  5. Excuse me for posting a review of the deplorable SNLA situation. Times-Warner Cable bought the broadcast rights from the Dodgers for a huge amount, around $3 Billion, I believe. Now they want to force the satellite and cable companies to make their subscribers, ALL their subscribers, Dodger fans or not, pay a monthly fee for the Dodger station, SNLA. This would force an increase in monthly payments for all the subscribers and the companies are rightfully resisting going along with that plan. Now Dodger fans would have no objection to paying another $5 to $7 a month for the pleasure of watching Dodger Games but you can see where the millions of non-fans would object. The problem for Times-Warner is that there are not enough Dodger fans willing to pay that monthly fee to recover the money TWC is paying the Dodgers, $100MM to $300MM a year. It seems they grossly over-estimated the demand for Dodger Baseball when they offered the Dodgers that huge contract. Barring the cable and satellite companies caving in, and I hope they don’t, there are three other possible outcomes.
    One, TWC can try to re-negotiate the contract with the Dodgers. Not likely.
    Two, TWC can go bankrupt, thereby voiding the contract and letting the Dodgers find another broadcaster. that too is unlikely.
    Three, TWC can make the Dodgers a partner. They can get what income they can by allowing the satellite and cable companies to sell SNLA ala carte, that is, only to those subscribers who are willing to pay for it. TWC’s potential loss is greatly diminished, the Dodger’s huge profit is somewhat diminished but their long term gain as a TWC partner should more than make up for it.
    They better do something. Last year taught a lot of fans they can live without Dodger games on TV everyday. Another year like that and they won’t have much of a fanbase…

    • If I lived in LA, I’d be truly frustrated. Fortunately, I can see everything except Gnat games on MLBTV.

      • “can see everything except Gnat games on MLBTV.”

        How could you possibly bear up under the weight of such a terrible, crushing disappointment?

        • Couldn’t care less about the Gnats, but I can’t see their games with the Dodgers.

      • I wasn’t even close… Not used to thinking of money in terms like that.

        • As Senator Dirksen is purported to have said, “a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money”.

    • It is well known that I have no use for the new Dodger FO. I have stated my opinions many times even though I knew they were unpopular with some who post here. I thought that was what blogs do. I was plainly told that I should “Get over it” by some and even the Moderator. I find it just plain wrong to not call things fairly. I will not be bullied and prodded by people who think they can have it only their way as I have seen more opinions on what a great job the FO is doing. What am I being told here? That it is OK to post if you only agree with the majority?

      • No reason to think that link was intended for you alone, I found it interesting and informative and I think a lot of others here will appreciate it also. You’re just not a yes-man or me-too type personality, you like to think for yourself. I think/hope I’m like that myself, but the vast percentage of people in the world are followers, they want to be on the popular side, in step with what everyone else is saying and doing. Like I said, I’m more like you but I’m just too lazy to enjoy wasting time trying to tell people what they don’t want to hear… I have thought of starting my own blog so I can say what I want, set the theme for the conversation, but I always back out… Perhaps you should give that some thought, I’d be glad to visit the site and agree- or disagree- with you as the case may be.

          • I did not mean to imply that Linkmeister was a yes man, I think he is happily retired in Hawaii and not looking for a job. But many blogsters (?) who are professional writers do seem to agree with everything the Dodgers say and do, in hopes of getting more information from them, maybe even a job, and sometimes it works. Ned Colletti isn’t the only newspaper reporter that ended up in a baseball management career.

      • “What am I being told here?”

        Nothing. Posting that had zero to do with you. And little to do with the FO. But a lot to do with clubhouse issues last year, which can and sometimes do affect team performance. We’re all hungry for reasons why things didn’t go better, and this piece fleshed out what some may have been.

        I don’t believe anyone here is trying to control your or anyone else’s comments.
        or views. But I will say your comment seems to be in the neighborhood of rule 12, “claiming your opinion isn’t allowed when it’s just being disagreed with.”

        • I did not say that my opinion was not allowed!! You have said several times that you don’t think we could have fun posting or anything that would ask that we not criticize the FO. At the same time you post anything that supports your position. That is not fair. When I see articles posted by DD or TrueBlue you can bet it is a plug for the FO or Sabermetrics. Maybe everyone does not agree with everything the FO thinks or does. You seldom give just your opinion and you apparently don’t want to hear anyone elses.

        • Interesting article. Thanks. Not among those searching for an explanation about why things didn’t go better last year. We won 94 games and lost in the NLCS because of poor pitching by our Ace and pen. Donnie’s complaints seem to be more in the vein of too much clowning, which Kemp was not a part of, as far as I can tell. Indeed, its seems that he was hard on Puig, who now, we are told, seems to be taking things more seriously, at least in terms of showing up and working hard. The writer, on the other hand, seems to be talking about the Kemp/Puig tension, a moody Hanley, and an obnoxious Blue Beard and wants desperately to pin the loss to the Cards on this. Meh. Now, moving forward is more interesting. The clowns are still there (Puig, Ryu, Uribear), so Donnie will need to deal with that, if he doesn’t think it’s professional. Matty definitely would not have been a happy camper in left. If indeed the FO took into account other factors more than on the field performance, it would help to explain why they were willing to sweeten the pot by $30 million when pressed by the Pads. Getting Joc into CF was the FO goal, so a lot of pressure on him to perform. Go Joc! Go Dodgers!

          • “Didn’t go better” was meant as not at least getting to the WS, more in line with expectations and with taking another step up from 2013. 94 wins and making the playoffs is not nothing. But it’s fair to say the first-round exit was very disappointing for all of us.

            We can’t get into guys psyches, but it’s entirely possible that if clubhouse tensions were worse than we can know, it could have leaked over into on-field performance. Dodger bats v SL saw good pitching, but overall didn’t come through when it mattered most, for whatever reason. Who knows exactly what went into the Puig benching, for example? We sure don’t, and likely won’t.

            No intent to rehash that series, but I don’t think Kershaw pitched poorly; he just made a couple mistakes at the worst possible times. Otherwise he was brilliant, even on short rest.

            If the pen had been worth a flit, surely DM would have had CK out of there before disaster hit–especially in the short-rest, deciding game.
            Understandable he would stay with his best rather than go with any reliever who hadn’t proven trustworthy.

            But that was then. This is now.

          • I understand that “this is now”, but it was the writer that brought up the past and tried to link clubhouse atmosphere to the outcome of a short series and as an underlying rationale for off season moves. I review the evidence and found it wanting to say the least. Biggest hitters for us in the series were AJ, Hanley and Kemp. Puig didn’t do all that bad (OPS .774), but struck out too much for Donnie’s taste. Thought pulling him was a mistake, myself.

      • package, I was just asking you to refrain from posting the same complaints about the new F.O. team repeatedly. We know you’re dissatisfied with them and with their off-season trades and transactions. When you see something you want to comment on, go ahead, please. But don’t couch it in “See? They’ve done it again!” language if you can avoid it. We know how you feel about them! 😉

  6. I wonder if Ethier couldn’t make his contract more agreeable to potential trading clubs if he would agree to taking the remainder of his three years contracted pay in deferred payments. Here’s how that could work: Dodgers get a prospect (or maybe a bag of balls) and send $28MM along with Ethier to another club which would pay him the remaining $28MM over 9 years. They would get a useful player who MIGHT turn into more than that for about $3MM a year, chicken feed.

      • Grandal just missed another dinger, then got thrown out at second. Kemp apparently didn’t play today.

      • Do you think Mattingly will consider using him at first base against left-handed pitchers?

        • Over his career Agon has reasonable splits, but last year there was .300 OPS difference, which is major. Based on available data for defense (slim for Grandal), playing him at 1st versus Agon would be the equivalent of letting in 27 additional runs. Of course, he wouldn’t have to dig out Hanley’s throws.

          • Guerrero has been mentioned there too. And I really doubt there would be much of a defensive letdown with Grandal playing there. According to the defensive skill chain, First Base is the easiest position and Catcher the first or second most difficult. You want to see additional runs, put Adrian behind the plate…

          • Seems it would be more in case of emergency (only once or twice last year). I am guessing that he might also be the emergency catcher.

        • it could be that, when AGon’s contact expires, Grandal moves to 1B if one of the younger catchers (e.g. Julián León) in the system works out.

          • Yep, though his splits are not that dramatic and he hits lefties better by about .100 OPS than Agon did last year.

  7. Looking at starting pitching depth. From TBLA….

    Bolsinger on 40-man, 2 option years. Gaudin minor league deal, no opt-out. Battling to be first up should (when) the Dodgers need another starter, along with Joe Wieland (40-man), Erik Bedard (non-roster invitee whose first opt-out isn’t until May 1) and Carlos Frias (40-man), to name a few.

    To name a few? Who else is there other than Beachy mid-year, maybe?

    If you had those 5, mostly healthy, you’d likely be ahead of the dregs signed mid-year last season, not to mention Beachy if he comes back close to where he was.

    http://www.truebluela.com/2015/3/7/8168103/mike-bolsinger-chad-gaudin-dodgers-rotation

  8. Now on the mound for the Brewers….C Perez, 4.5 ERA after a clean inning. But started at 6.75. So what else is new?

  9. Meanwhile, back on the farm: http://www.minorleagueball.com/2015/3/9/8176769/los-angeles-dodgers-top-20-prospects-for-2015

    Quotation: “The Dodgers farm system was weak a few years ago due to lack of
    pecuniary investment, but once the scouts had the money to do their jobs
    properly again the talent level improved quickly and dramatically. New
    General Manager Andrew Friedman and his staff inherit a system
    burgeoning with talent.”

    Friedman, of course, is not the GM.

    • Sure hope Puig gets off to a great start in the regular season as he is very important this season.

      • He seems to start well, but flagged a bit the past two seasons toward the end and only so-so in the two series against the Cards.