Mar 26

Option day

As Dale mentioned in the comments below, the Dodgers optioned Dee Gordon to Albuquerque today and sent Yasiel Puig to AA Chattanooga, saying both players need more time to play regularly.

In addition, the team announced that Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game Two of the season on April 2 against the Giants. Kershaw will pitch Opening Day April 1st, Josh Beckett will pitch Game Three and Zack Greinke will pitch Game Four. Chad Billingsley will pitch a minor league game Friday, March 29 and will go into the rotation after the first four pitch. There’s an off day after each of the first two three-game series the Dodgers play, so there will be a slot for Billingsley in one of those six games.

Update: The Dodger Stadium Express shuttle will run from Union Station downtown to the stadium: “. . . for the first time, a dedicated bus lane on Sunset Boulevard has been established that should speed up the process. Game-day tickets will be honored as payment to ride the service and the shuttle operates 90 minutes before first pitch and 45 minutes after the game.”

Update: Jon posits that there are never too many starters on the staff, so the Dodgers shouldn’t be in a hurry to trade any of the current overabundance.

The last thing the Dodgers should do is rush into a low-value trade of one of their excess starting pitchers – Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang or Ted Lilly – just so they can make room for a Wall or Kevin Gregg in the back of their bullpen.

Absolutely. Better to keep the veterans up and the rookies down unless there’s a fantastic opportunity to fill a hole in the infield, and what are the odds any team in the majors has that much interest in any of these three serviceable but not spectacular pitchers?

Mar 21

Ramirez out for 8 weeks

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.

Mar 18

Dodgers – D-Backs on Prime Ticket

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.

Mar 16

Dodgers – Brewers Sunday

And Carl Crawford expects to play.

The Dodgers play the Rangers today in Surprise (yes, that’s the name of the town). Kershaw is starting and has a pitch limit of 90. Here’s today’s lineup:

Alfredo Amezaga CF
Nick Punto 3B
Jerry Hairston 1B
Yasiel Puig RF
Skip Schumaker 2B
Alex Castellanos LF
Matt Wallach C
Dee Gordon SS
Clayton Kershaw P

Mar 11

Greinke’s elbow inflamed

An injection of platelet-rich plasma was the preferred treatment.

Greinke missed a bullpen session 10 days ago because of discomfort in the back of the elbow, missed a start five days ago because of the flu, then threw an impressive bullpen session Friday without issues.

But the discomfort in the back of his elbow returned when he played catch Sunday. The club said the decision to send Greinke for an exam was made “out of an abundance of caution.”

He returned to LA and was examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who diagnosed inflammation but no structural problems.

Hyun-Jin Ryu took his place in the lineup today and gave up three runs in 4 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking two. The Dodgers lost to the Brewers 3 – 2. Yasiel Puig continued his hot hitting, going 2 for 2 to get his average up to .452 for the spring (14 for 31)

Mar 07

This is strange

Old friend Russell Martin pulled out of the World Baseball Classic when Team Canada decided he’d catch rather than play shortstop as he preferred.

Say what? Martin hasn’t played shortstop since 2002, his first pro season in the minors, and that was just one game.

This hasn’t endeared him to Canadian fans, nor has it done him any favors with Justin Morneau of the Twins, who’s playing for Team Canada.

But the desire to play a new position is kind of what has everybody wondering what the decision-making process was behind that. When we get there, we’ll be there with everybody who wants to be there and with somebody who’s capable of playing shortstop.”

You know, as badly as Martin’s skills have fallen off and as weird as this reasoning is, I think it’s just as well we let him go to the Yankees a couple of years ago.

Update: Another old friend, Rafael Furcal, is going to have Tommy John surgery and will be out for the season.

That’s a shame. When he was healthy Raffy was a great shortstop for the Dodgers.

Update: Tonight’s (March 8) game is available via webcast. Capuano is on the mound to start.

Update: Video of Kershaw’s two-hit one-run outing today in Scottsdale, which the Dodgers won 6 – 1. Juan Uribe (!) had a three-run home run.

Mar 03

Dodgers GM tweets

Colletti on Twitter yesterday:

Beckett started this morning’s game. Kemp is the DH.

Update: Live webcast of the game here.

Update: Dodgers win 5 – 1 on a three-run home run from youngster Yasiel Puig. Next webcast will be on Wednesday, March 6.