Update: Much more important than this game, news came this afternoon that Kershaw has been placed on the 15-day Disabled List effective March 23.
the Dodgers are making no promises about when he will pitch again. Mainly, because there is little urgency in the season’s first few weeks given the spate of off-days, and because they want to remain ultra-conservative and make sure Kershaw is right when he returns.
Tests earlier this week showed the strained upper back muscle, behind his left shoulder. Mattingly said he does not know of any more tests scheduled as of now.
“We know what it is,” he said. “We’re not concerned that he’s going to do any damage to it.”
Update: Greinke and Hanley Ramirez looked ready for the season in a 7 – 5 loss. Unfortunately, Jose Dominguez came in for the seventh inning and didn’t have anything, giving up four runs while retiring only one hitter.
Two of the most exciting players in baseball combined for one heckuva play this afternoon when Mike Trout hit a ball to Yasiel Puig in center field. Puig dove inadvisedly, but then retrieved the ball from the wall and threw a strike to Hanley Ramirez who relayed the ball on one hop to A.J. Ellis, who stayed off to one side and tagged Trout as he attempted to score on an inside-the-park home run.
Thank heaven for video. I’ve have been very sorry to miss this play.
Update: Two video highlights in one day! Scott van Slyke hit the Dodgers’ second grand slam in two days after Guerrero did it yesterday:
Update II: The MLB Network did a “30 Clubs in 30 Days” tour during this year’s Spring Training, and here’s the Dodgers’ episode at Camelback Ranch. Click the Wilson video if only to see his hair (not beard, hair).
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.
When the team hasn’t announced a deal but the player has a locker at the Spring Training clubhouse in Arizona, does he have a deal? That’s what we know about Paul Maholm, who’ll be in his tenth year and has a lousy W-L record to show for it. On the other hand, if you’d pitched for the Pirates for seven years between 2005 and 2011, you’d have been hard-pressed to do much better.
Billingsley thinks his Tommy John surgery has given him an entirely new arm. He’s throwing 80mph off a mound and won’t try curveballs till the end of February.
Mattingly says Kemp probably won’t play in Australia; he hasn’t yet run outside.
Dee Gordon has been practicing at second base and in the outfield.
Now that Tanaka-san decided to try his luck with the Yankees, what do the Dodgers do? Do they really need another starter?
Yes, yes: “You can never have too much pitching.” And it’s true that after Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu the Dodgers have questions. Will Haren return to his earlier form, or is he now a .500 pitcher? Will Beckett and Billingsley recover fully from their respective injuries? Who knows?
Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza and Bronson Arroyo, among others, remain unsigned. Santana and Jimenez received qualifying offers, which means that landing them would cost the Dodgers a draft pick. That seems unlikely, given the team’s imperative to rebuild the farm system gutted by Frank McCourt. Neither Garza nor Arroyo received qualifying offers, which could put them in play.
I dunno. I think they need to get Hanley Ramirez’s contract extended before offering more money to any of those guys.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN both Tweet that the Dodgers have signed ex-Angel Chone Figgins to a minor league contract and invited him to camp as a non-roster guy. If he’s got anything at all left (he sat out last year and is 36 years old) he could be one of the utility guys the Dodgers desperately need.
That thumb that Ramirez injured in the WBC requires surgery to repair the ligament which stabilizes the thumb. The digit will be immobilized for three weeks before he can start using it again. I remember this. I broke a ring finger when I was about ten and wore a boxing glove-like soft cast to keep it from moving around. All summer. In Palos Verdes.
Anyway, it looks like Luis Cruz will play short, unless the Dodgers suck it up and play Dee Gordon there. That would leave Cruz at third. Otherwise they could platoon Uribe, Hairston and Punto at Cruz’s former spot at the hot corner.
Those guys strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers, I’m sure.
Update: In other personnel news, Guerra and Gwynn have been cut and sent to Albuquerque, as were Tolleson and Justin Sellers. They also cut Dallas McPherson, Ramon Castro, and Nick Evans.
I just realized it. The game started 45 minutes ago, and the D-Backs lead 3 – 0 in the third. Josh Wall started, went two innings and was relieved by Peter Moylan. Crawford is hitting leadoff and singled in the third.
In personnel news, the team reassigned Tony Gwynn and Wilkin Castillo to Albuquerque and released Ramon Castro.
Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley both were relieved of their starting assignments today and tomorrow respectively, Beckett with the flu and Billingsley with a bruised right index finger. Greinke is set to start on Wednesday.
Update: Chad Moriyama has injury updates on Hanley Ramirez, Greinke, Billingsley, Crawford, Beckett, Withrow and Gordon. The most serious of these may be Ramirez’s thumb, which he jammed playing in the title game of the WBC yesterday. He dove for a ground ball while playing third. He stayed in for another at-bat and even got a hit, but he came out after that. He’ll have an MRI today at Camelback Ranch.