The countdown is on — just two weeks until the Dodgers open up the season against the San Diego Padres. Clayton Kershaw will be the starter that day, but on his last start he looked less than Kershaw-like. Kersh allowed three home runs, four runs total on six hits in five innings. He also had eight strikeouts and two walks.
“Not the best outcome tonight, but a good workday and just have to keep going, ” Kershaw said afterwards. “It’s always good to be humbled, so this is a good one tonight.”
Kenta Maeda had his longest outing of the spring on Sunday, and looked very strong. He went 4-1/3 innings, gave up five hits, one walk and one earned run, throwing a total of 73 pitches.
Julio Urias is back in camp on Monday after being absent for three days. Urias was out with strep throat and will have a light workout, and throw a bullpen on Tuesday. He told David Vassegh that his mom’s home remedy helped him recover faster — gargled apple cider vinegar and salt water with lime.
Our sympathies go out to manager Dave Roberts on the loss of his father, Waymon Roberts. Roberts briefly left camp with the news of his father’s passing, but has since returned. Roberts will leave camp on Wednesday to attend his father’s service, and is expected to be back in camp on Friday.
One person still not playing is Andre Ethier. The veteran outfielder has been dealing with hip and back issues for much of spring training.
“The back’s kind of getting to him still,” Roberts said after Sunday’s game. “He’s never had to do this in his career, so it’s all new to him, and new to us. We’re taking it slow.”
Ethier did play in Saturday’s game, going 2-for-2, but was not able to go on Sunday.
“For a couple days we felt like he was out of the woods, but then this morning he was in there and was ready to go, but he just didn’t loosen up,” Roberts said.
Ethier is expected to have an MRI on Monday. Andre stated Monday that if this was the regular season he would find a way to play, work through the stiffness, and the MRI is just precautionary.
Corey Seager is continuing his progression back from his strained oblique. Seager had been sidelined with the issue since March 4.
“I’ve tried to stay in tune and to see Corey back as a full participant is good, running the bases and taking full swings and throwing,” Roberts said. “He’s on his way. As I understand it, he’s hopefully turned the corner, so we’ll get him in a game sometime soon.”
The plan for now is to have Seager continue to participate in full workouts before the team’s off day on Wednesday, and have him take some at-bats on Thursday, although it has not been decided whether that will be on the minor league side or in the Dodgers’ Cactus League game.
Enrique Hernandez remains out of camp while he plays with Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. He will play Monday evening against Team Netherlands, which will feature current Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen.
Some minor leaguers are continuing to impress during their time in big league camp. Pitcher Trevor Oaks started against Team Japan on Sunday, and went 3-2/3 innings, allowing no runs, four hits, zero walks and striking out two. O’Koyea Dickinson won the game for the Dodgers with a walk-off opposite field double.
“He’s got a big league bat, and he’s just got to continue to develop as a defender. But there’s a lot to like,” Roberts said of Dickson after the game. Dickson will start Monday afternoon instead of Yasiel Puig, who was a late scratch with calf tightness.
Both players will begin the season in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Mitchell White, who the Dodgers drafted in the second round in 2016, also pitched in Sunday’s game. He left Roberts excited about his outing.
“He’s got a big arm….sometimes you just have to see it for yourself. He lives up to the billing.”
Roberts went on to say, “It was eye-opening to watch him pitch yesterday”.
Another high draft pick may also be seen in the Cactus League soon. Walker Buehler, the Dodgers’ number one pick in the 2015 draft, is expected to pitch in spring training before the Dodgers leave camp. Buehler had been sidelined recovering from Tommy John surgery last year, but has been impressing the staff on the back fields of Camelback Ranch.
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