Mar 22

Tibias, forearms, obliques, oh my!

Andre Ethier broke his lower leg (the tibia, for the purists) when he fouled a ball off it last Friday. He’ll be out 10-14 weeks. This means in all likelihood that Carl Crawford will be the Dodgers’ starting left-fielder for the first three months of the season.

That stinks.

So do all these injuries:

pitcher Frankie Montas had a rib removed and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Brett Anderson suffered a bulging disk and had surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu’s recovery from shoulder surgery has been slow and he won’t pitch in a spring game. Pitcher Josh Ravin broke his non-throwing left arm in an auto accident. Brandon McCarthy is still recovering from Tommy John surgery. Brandon Beachy (elbow) and Mike Bolsinger (oblique) have had their fifth-starter candidacies derailed by injuries.

Seager sprained his knee almost two weeks ago, but is expected back by Opening Day. Starter Alex Wood missed a start with forearm soreness. Julio Urias was slowed with slight groin tightness. Caleb Dirks never pitched because of a back injury.

Yasmani Grandal missed several games with strained forearms and came out of Monday’s game after aggravating the right one. Alex Guerrero missed a week with a twisted knee. Adrian Gonzalez missed a couple games with a bulging disk in his neck. Howie Kendrick missed a handful of games with a tight groin muscle. Justin Turner has been eased back slowly after offseason microfracture knee surgery. Crawford missed a game last week because of a sore back.

Other than that, Dodgers’ fans, it’s been a great spring training.

Mar 12

Take THAT, Marlins and Mattingly!

I missed this back when news first hit that the Marlins banned facial hair and Mattingly (he of the exceptional mustache when he played for the Yankees) agreed to enforce it, but the American Mustache Institute reacted with sorrow at that horrific turn of events.

“The entire episode marks yet another dark chapter in the way the Mustached American community can often be treated,” said Dr. Adam Paul Causgrove, chief executive officer of the American Mustache Institute. “But we will continue to fight for those who have no representation and firmly push our agenda, making the case of the power of facial hair and all that it brings to all walks of life.”

I share Dr. Causgrove’s dismay.

Feb 22

Puig! Puig! Puig!

The young man says he’s going to get back to his 2013 form this season.

“I want to improve on last year, which was my worst season in all aspects,” Puig said. “I’ve never hit so poorly, not even when I was a little kid. Coming off such a bad season, I have to work on my body, my hitting, on hitting the cutoff man, all that’s required to do well in American baseball.”

[snip]

“I want us all to be together, and for me to join in, so we don’t lose in the playoffs again,” Puig said. “I’m tired of making the playoffs and not going further and reaching the World Series.”

I hope he succeeds in doing that. If he can stay healthy and be a team player he’s a tremendous athlete.

Feb 13

A 1500-lb. Lasorda bobblehead!

That’s just part of the 40 tons of stuff the Dodgers sent off to Camelback Ranch this week in two trucks.

The trucks will arrive at Camelback Ranch-Glendale on Saturday, to be unloaded in plenty of time for next Saturday’s first workout for pitchers and catchers and the start of another Spring Training.

Bats and balls are shipped directly by their various manufacturers, in case you wondered. Uniforms and even bottled water as well as office supplies are in these trucks.

The first spring training game is scheduled for March 3 at home against the White Sox. The visitors have a long walk around a five-acre lake within the Camelback complex which separates them from the Dodgers. Or maybe they pedal-boat or kayak it.

Jan 24

Big Football Day Today

Or handegg, as WBBaS calls it.

Can the Pats beat the Broncos in Denver? Can the Cardinals beat the weather and the Panthers in Charlotte? For info on these burning questions, go to NFL.com.

Can we get these games out of the way so we can enjoy (!) all the hype of the next two weeks and get that much closer to Spring Training?

In Dodgers news, prospect Cody Bellinger is #6 on MLB Pipeline’s ranking of 1B prospects. He hit 30 HRs and led the California League with 97 runs scored and 103 RBI in 2015. If he pans out the Dodgers just need to squeeze two more seasons out of Adrian Gonzalez.

The same outfit has ranked LHP prospects, and Julio Urias of the Dodgers comes out on top. The only thing he’s short on is experience: he’s yet to pitch more than 90 innings in a season.

Jan 13

Milestones

Changes at ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball: Curt Schilling moves to Monday Night Baseball, John Kruk goes back to Baseball Tonight, and Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone move into the chairs next to Dan Shulman for the Sunday game.

Monte Irvin has died at 96. He joined the NY Giants from the Negro League Newark Eagles in 1949 (the second black player on the team behind Hank Thompson) and played left field next to Willie Mays. In the 1951 World Series those three men formed the first all-black starting outfield in World Series history. Jay Jaffe has more.

Jan 05

New Year, New Post

Rob Neyer at FoxSports:

The Dodgers were expected to spend WHATEVER IT COSTS to retain the services of Zack Greinke. Absent Greinke, or maybe even with Greinke, the Dodgers were expected to acquire one of the other big-time pitchers out there: David Price or Johnny Cueto.

Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks, Price with the Red Sox, and Cueto with the Giants. Ergo, the Dodgers had (or are having) a lousy winter. Right?

Before exploring that question in some detail, we should start with this salient fact: The Dodgers won 92 games last season.

Thank you, Mr. Neyer. The pundits and fans do somehow forget the team has won three titles in a row, and only two of them were Greinke-aided. It can survive without him.

Neyer points out that the Dodgers re-signed Anderson, who was pretty good and figures to be close to that again. They signed Kazmir, who figures to be better than Anderson. They signed Maeda, who only has to be an average pitcher for him to replace the 12 guys who tried to fill that role at the back end of the rotation last year. They also still have Wood, who’s young and whose history is better than his performance with the Dodgers last season. They’ll get Ryu back, and we don’t know yet how complete his recovery might be. Finally, they’ll get McCarthy back mid-season, and if he’s recovered most of his form that will be the equivalent of getting a mid-season trade for a starter done without giving up a player or two.

Neyer thinks the Dodgers will be pretty good this season. So do I.