Spring Training begins this week!

“It’s a doggy-dog world out there.” I have seen that written on the Internet more times than I care to mention, and it apparently applies to the Dodgers’ starting rotation competition this spring. There are seven proven pitchers trying to fit into the two spots for fourth and fifth starters. Kershaw, Hill and Maeda look to be locks for the first three slots, but after that you’ve got McCarthy, Wood, Kazmir, Ryu, Stripling, Stewart and Urias hunting for work.

“As we look around here today, we have a lot of starting pitching depth, but as we finish spring training, guys like Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, they’re going to have to pitch somewhere,” Roberts said. “So whether it is out of the rotation or potentially out of the pen, I don’t know that answer right now.”

Oh, and once they get the starting pitching set, they can start on their “eight outfielders for three positions” problem.

It all begins on Wednesday.

46 thoughts on “Spring Training begins this week!

    • Tigres de Quintana Roo, I have seen them play in Cancun. This is actually the storied Tigres from Mexico City that moved there in 2007. Old friends Ismael Valdez and Daryl Ward played for them, as did Julio Franco.

    • The photo of the game appears to be Reggio against arch rival Parma from just up the road. I know this because when I lived in Argentina, Parma was know as the Argentine team and played in the highest level “A” with a good number of top level Argentine players.

  1. Mike P sees method to Dodger overstocked rotation madness: ride pitchers’ good health to quality innings as long as their health holds. Then plug in others to deliver quality when those conk out. Rinse, lather, repeat. (Kinda like last year.)

    “To understand what the Dodgers are doing, it’s important to understand that putting together a starting rotation is no longer about finding five pitchers who can give you 32 starts and 200 innings apiece. The question these days is simply “What’s the most effective way to get
    around 920 quality innings from your starters? Which is roughly the average that we saw from Major League rotations last year. Whether that pie gets sliced up among six pitchers or 12
    doesn’t really matter so much, as long as: A) they’re good; and B) you have roster flexibility. ”


      • Yeah, and Maeda faded late last year. The team didn’t seem to trust anyone else who was available. Would like to have seen what Wood could have done. You’d think plain old luck would break the Dodgers’ way at some point.

        • Wood didn’t come back from his surgery until the third week of September, so not enough time to build up his arm strength and innings to assume a starter role

  2. Couple recent reports say Gagne mulling comeback attempt at 41 following his Team Canada WBC stint . Catcher quoted in this says he had MLB quality stuff in a recent bullpen, including that legendary change.

    Story says he was clocked 93-95 last fall.

    Even if Game isn’t Over and someone signs him, could he last thru the season at 41? Unlikely.

    Brian Wilson wants to come back as a knuckleballer. Which is more likely? Neither?


  3. SI grades teams’ winter performances; Dodgers do well.

    Preliminary Grade (Feb. 10): A-

    Key moves since preliminary grade: Signed OF Franklin Gutierrez and IF Chase Utley

    The Dodgers put the finishing touches on a strong
    offseason with a pair of late deals. Though he’s no longer an elite
    centerfielder, Gutierrez punches well above his weight against lefties,
    hitting .280/.373/.511 with 20 homers in 329 PA against them in 2015 and
    ’16; he shores up a glaring need even in an already-crowded outfield.
    Utley, brought back for just $2 million plus incentives, can still be
    useful in a bench role.

  4. Ruf to Korea? If Dodgers go with 13 position players, looks like choice for the 25th guy is between Quique and Taylor. Nod to Quique given his ability to be sixth outfielder. Would mean that Puig would be fulltime and Toles and Thompson to OKC, with Franklin and SVS platooning with Joc and Dre. Quique to outfield and SVS to 1st when AGon needs a day off.

  5. Lotta flexibility in that outfield in terms of stashing players in OKC and seeing how things work out.

  6. Eric had an encouraging observation on the starters, Klayton and Hill in particular: they accounted for only 27 starts last year between the two of them, so the notion that they could be closer to 60 this year is a reason for optimism.

    • Kershaw has a history of durability, but Hill does not – he’s a calculated risk. I hope he works out, but I’m not convinced he will.

      • Well, he did get in 20 starts last year, despite everything. So 20 plus 30 from Klayton gets them up to 50, or almost twice as many as last year.

  7. Not that the Dodgers are locks for the post season, the team that could be built from the players they hold back in extended spring training could be better than a few MLB teams.