Spring training begins very soon

Barring a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases, as of January 28

Dodgers pitchers and catchers will report to spring training at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona on Wednesday, Feb. 17, with their first workout one day later. Position players are set to report a few days later, with the first full-squad workout on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

The Dodgers’ first Cactus League game is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27 against the Cubs in Mesa, with LA’s first home game the next day against the Rangers at Camelback Ranch.

There will be a lot of virus-related protocols:

Major League Baseball players won’t be required to take a COVID-19 vaccination, though it will be strongly encouraged by the players’ union and the league when the time comes.

The voluntary program won’t proceed until health officials deem it appropriate, but players who are otherwise eligible for a vaccine, before league implementation, will be allowed to receive one


Before arriving at spring training, players will be required to self-quarantine for five days and fill out a health questionnaire. They’ll undergo intake testing once in Arizona or Florida and, similar to last season, testing will continue at least every other day throughout spring training and the regular season.

It looks like there will be no DH in the National League, partly because MLB, as usual, created a false equivalence. It said “We’ll give you, players, a DH, which we know you want to keep your older players in work. In return, you’ll give us extended playoffs. Most of the revenue from the postseason goes to us, but hey, that one extra guy on the payroll for each team is just the same, right?” The players and their union balked.

52 thoughts on “Spring training begins very soon

  1. Fully vaccinated in this household, but I just awoke from a nap to find five Coronas in the fridge (spoiler – I rarely drink beer).

  2. Good news! The Dodgers’ spring training opener will be broadcast on MLB.TV this Sunday. On the West Coast it is listed for a 1:05 p.m. start, although I think it might be 12:05 p.m. The defending world champions will be playing the Oakland A’s at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa.

  3. Spring Training and regular season broadcast schedule here.

    Also, Kershaw:

    “As far as I’m concerned

    , I’m continuing to play and feel great doing it. Im on a year to year basis. I want to re-evaluate and see how we’re doing. Just make a decision from there. I have no intentions of hanging them up. I’m only 32. I feel like I got a few more years left in the tank. I really still love playing.”

    • Spring 1963. I am in the 10th grade at Fairfax High in L.A. I bring my transistor radio to school and during a mid-morning geometry class, in which I am sitting near the back of the room, I listen to the Dodgers exhibition games from Friday through an earplug. Despite that, I still got an “A.” The Dodgers got an “A+” that season. The Dodgers used to broadcast all their spring training games on radio. I notice that isn’t the case any more.

  4. Yet another roster preview from The Athletic:

    C Will Smith
    1B Max Muncy
    2B Chris Taylor
    SS Corey Seager
    3B Justin Turner
    LF A.J. Pollock
    CF Cody Bellinger
    RF Mookie Betts

    What else is there to say? No member of this lineup was a below-average hitter in 2020. By FanGraphs’ metrics, Muncy was the Dodgers’ worst hitter, at exactly average. And he had a .904 OPS in the postseason. It’s not exactly All-Stars everywhere, but it’s not far from there. At 11 percent better than average, Taylor has the worst career stat line.

    (Note: I see ads nearly every day on Facebook from The Athletic offering subscriptions for as little as $1.99/month, if that interests anyone)

  5. Random thoughts about somewhat beleaguered – but still big leaguer – Kenley Jansen.

    I was looking up some stats for new Dodger reliever Corey Knebel because I was excited about him being on the Dodgers this year. But I wasn’t blown away by his stats as I thought I would be. Made me want to compare his numbers to Jansen’s.

    One thing that stood out to me was that in Knebel’s best season with Milwaukee in 2017, his WHIP (walks + hits / innings pitched) was 1.158. Last season Jansen had his worst ever WHIP – 1.151.

    Looking at ERA+: Knebel’s career ERA+ is 128. Jansen’s had 128 last season – and that was the third worse total in his career. Kenley’s overall career ERA+ is 161.

    Speaking of overall totals, Jansen is currently in 24th spot on the all-time saves list with 312. He needs 10 more saves to jump into the top 20. 19 more saves gets him to 331, which would place him into 15th all time.

    In terms of active relievers, Jansen is second in total saves to Craig Kimbrel. Interestingly the top 3 active saves leaders – Kimbrel, Jansen, and Aroldis Chapman – all are 32 years old and have all played 11 seasons.

    • Kenley’s WHIP driven by a leap in his BB/9 rate and a h/9 rate which has creeped up in recent years. Joe Davis notes that he had the lowest hard hit rate in the MLB last year, so I blame the FO for not coming up with a shift that cuts down on dinkers.

  6. From Keith Law’s analysis of the Dodgers’ top 20 prospects at The Athletic:

    11. Kendall Williams, RHP

    Williams … has adopted a high leg kick like Dustin May’s, and apparently is trying to emulate May’s hairstyle (note to Kendall, sorry, this is impossible, May has 80 hair). The hair part is fine, but Williams may not have May’s incredible athleticism to make that kind of delivery work. It’s four pitches, some projection and control that should be a 55 or better down the road — good raw material for a mid-rotation starter.

    • Sborz, aka “The Eyechart,” pitched in only four games for the Dodgers last year. He becomes the sixth reliever from 2020 to depart, joining Wood, Baez, Kolarek, Floro and McGee.

        • Gwosdz is better than Sborz. We could compile an entire “eyechart” of ballplayers’ names. Here’s one: (Eli) Grba. He started the first game ever for the L.A. Angels, in 1961, beating the Orioles and Milt Pappas, The fledgling Angels then lost eight in a row. Minor footnote: Sweet Lou Johnson played two innings in the outfield for the Angels in their first game and was traded two days later to Toronto of the International League for Leon Wagner.

          • I want to say that the Polish language owes its origins to eyecharts but, as it happens, the surname Sborz appears to be most common in Brazil.

          • Here is more for the eyechart: Hrbek (Kent). More than 20 years ago when I was living in Ohio, which has a large percentage of people with Eastern European surnames, the joke was that President Clinton was going to deliver tens of millions of vowels to the state.

    • I would be sorry to see Kershaw go, but he has given us more than a dozen great years and I can understand if he wishes to end his career so close to his Texas home. Jansen has, unfortunately, lost his effectiveness, which was almost always guaranteed. I don’t see the Dodgers resigning him after this season. Corey Seager would be a big loss. He is in the prime of his career, will turn 27 in April, had a strong regular season in 2020 and a tremendous post-season. Seager is fully aware of the money that the club has dished out to Betts, Bauer and Turner and will want to be in that mix. Historically, the Dodgers have had a great tradition of excellent multi-year shortstops for the past 80 years. In 33 of the 39 seasons, 1946 through 1984, either Pee Wee Reese, Maury Wills or Bill Russell was the Opening Day (OD) shortstop. Reese was the OD shortstop from 1941 through 1958 with the exception of three years in the military and 1957 and played his entire 16-year career with the Dodgers. Maury Wills was the OD shortstop 1960 through 1966 and again 1970 through 1972. (He was reacquired in June of 1969.) In all, he played 12 years with the Dodgers. Russell played his entire 18-year career with the Dodgers and was the OD shortstop 1973 through 1979 and 1981 through 1984. Seager has been the OD shortstop every year starting in 2016. He has better career slash numbers than Reese, Wills or Russell. I would hate to see him wearing another uniform.

  7. SI suggests:

    The next great rivalry is here. It is Padres-Dodgers. San Diego, which hasn’t won a division title in 15 years, sent its intentions to Los Angeles by acquiring Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove. The Dodgers responded by signing a free-agent pitcher they didn’t need, Trevor Bauer, at the insane price of $85 million over two years. (Officially, Bauer has a $17 million third year at his choosing.) They signed Bauer because the Padres, second last year only to the Dodgers in run differential, had thrown down the gauntlet. Game on.

  8. 162 will be a welcome sight. Abhorrent that runner on second base to start extra innings will be in place again. Personally, far more excited for the start of this one than I was for last July’s start.

    • Given the pandemic hangover, seven-inning doubleheaders may once again be a necessary expedient. I don’t like the extra-inning runner rule, but at least there’ll be no DH.

  9. On one level I miss baseball, but on another its return makes me uneasy. Ideally, vaccination should be obligatory. In any event, even after finishing my own vaccination this month, I won’t be attending any games in person (Spoiler: even under ideal public health conditions, I wouldn’t ever return to SF’s Software Stadium).