Mar 16

Momma told me there’d be days like this

Kershaw started today’s game and Bauer picked up after him. The two of them went the full nine innings and gave up 11 hits and seven runs.

The game was notable only in that it occasioned Bellinger’s first start of Spring Training, a test of his surgically-repaired shoulder.

Oh by the way, Seager had hit 5 HRs in his last six games before going 1 for 3 today.

Mar 01

Lux-ury?

Molly Knight at The Athletic:

Lux’s 2020 campaign was a train wreck.

He reported late to the Dodgers’ summer camp due to an unexplained absence, but he did reveal that he did not take part in baseball activities for two weeks. He began the season at the team’s alternate site at USC, and when he finally did get called up to the Dodgers, he looked like a mess. In 19 games, Lux had an OPS of .596. He made throwing errors that made it look like he had the yips. He was left off the postseason roster as the Dodgers went on to win the franchise’s first World Series title since 1988.

This year, the Dodgers can make do with some combination of Chris Taylor, Zach McKinstry and Max Muncy at second base in the event that Lux can’t immediately rebound from his disappointing 2020. But he is only 23 years old and can be forgiven for experiencing a lost season during the pandemic.

Cubs star Javier Báez said earlier this week that he simply was not mentally prepared for last season, and here’s betting Lux wasn’t, either. It’s not fair to judge anyone on how well they performed amid COVID-19. And that is why I’m excited to see if Lux can put last year behind him, secure the second base job and rake his way back into the hearts of Dodgers fans.

Today’s lineup, including one Trevor Bauer making his first start in Dodger Blue:

Feb 14

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

[snip]

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.

Mar 12

Here we (don’t) go: Season opening postponed

Remainder of spring training is canceled and the regular season has been delayed.

Following a call with the 30 clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, clubs and our millions of loyal fans.

MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days. As of 4 p.m. ET today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Ariz., have been postponed indefinitely.

MLB and the clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.

Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.

Mar 10

Kershaw named Opening Day starter

For the ninth time in ten years. He started last season on the injured list. Buehler will start Game Two and Price Game Three of the first series against the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

That assumes that MLB starts its season on time, of course. The coronavirus is moving quite quickly around the country; some events (SXSW!) have been canceled altogether, others (Coachella) have been postponed. Some events have turned away spectators, playing games in empty arenas.

In an abundance of caution all of the major sports leagues (MLB, NHL, MLS and NBA) have closed their locker rooms to the press. One wonders how quickly they’ll rescind that order once the virus is controlled (assuming it is).

In other Dodgers’ news, Corey Seager says he’s feeling better than he has since his Rookie of the Year season of 2016.

Feb 24

Funniest story of Spring Training so far

Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December.

From The Athletic:

One of the most famous pitchers in baseball has been competing in team-roping events under an alias for some time. Was he the Mason Saunders who competed alongside Colorado-based roper Tammy Ellerman in March of last year, two days before Bumgarner pitched for the Giants in a Cactus League game against the Athletics? “That was me, too,” Bumgarner said. Has “Saunders” won other events? “Yeah,” he said. “Maybe.”

[snip]

Bumgarner has been roping so long that “it’s just part of who you are,” he said Sunday. He learned the sport at 15 or 16 under the instruction of the man who became his father-in-law. (His brother-in-law also “rodeos full time during the summer,” the pitcher said.) He’s practiced roping on everything from a statue of a bull at Scottsdale’s Fashion Square Mall to Jeremy Affeldt’s patio furniture.

In other news, the Dodgers are atop the Cactus League with a 2 – 0 record.

Mar 07

Three weeks from Opening Day

Kershaw has thrown six of the last seven days, but Roberts and Honeycutt haven’t yet decided what Plan B is if, as seems likely, he’s unavailable for Opening Day.

Tweets of note:




Feb 23

Spring Training Game One and other thoughts

Dodgers v. White Sox, 12:05 PM PST



I’m worried about Kershaw’s sudden shutdown just a week or so into spring training.

Mar 19

Turner breaks wrist, out weeks

This is a fine how-do-you-do.

Dodgers All-Star third baseman Justin Turner suffered a small non-displaced fracture of his left wrist Monday night when hit by a Kendall Graveman pitch. He will open the season on the disabled list and be re-examined by local hand specialist, Dr. Brian Shafer, on Tuesday to determine how long he will be sidelined.

General manager Farhan Zaidi said this type of injury is “usually on the order of weeks” and surgery probably won’t be necessary. He said the club is not looking to replace Turner with an acquisition because of confidence in its internal depth.

Video of the incident and of Manager Dave Roberts talking about the injury at this link.

Mar 15

Getting closer to Opening Day!

Have a nice story complimenting the Dodger Stadium architects and the owners who have kept it up.

Okay, it’s an ad for Kingsford charcoal, it’s still kinda cute.

Corey Seager’s elbow shows no ill-effects from throwing in a game Wednesday and Kiké Hernandez says “Hey, I can hit right-handers too!” Alex Wood went five innings and struck out six White Sox “A” leaguers while giving up just one hit, and Matt Kemp went 1-4 as a starter in left field. Andrew Toles came off the bench and was 0-for-1. Alex Verdugo came off the bench and was 1-for-1 with a double. Trayce Thompson came off the bench and was 1-for-1 with a bloop double. Other news here.