We’re three days into Dodgers‘ spring training, and it’s so good to see the Boys in Blue (literally—I can’t get enough of those blue jerseys) and to hear the thump of the ball hitting the glove once again.
Aside from the wonderful feeling that spring may actually be approaching, the best news so far is that Corey Seager is supposedly tracking to be ready by Opening Day, a mere six weeks away.
“There’s kind of a rough schedule for Corey but obviously it’s kind of going to be on the backfields, kind of take some at-bats, and then as far as hitting to an A-game over there, to start, to play, to get three at bats, that’s kind of down the road,” manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Tuesday. “The arm, I think, he’s up to like 90 feet, and he’s not throwing across the diamond yet, but we’re tracking him to be ready by Opening Day.”
Today, Seager was seen running the bases, and then stood in for a bullpen session. He tracked about 10-15 pitches against Josh Sborz, according to Alanna Rizzo. In preparing for this season, Seager has trimmed 25 pounds from his body, attributing it to going dairy-free. He has been able to workout a lot in his recovery, and feels his strength is there, and that he feels great. The Dodgers’ account posted this video of him fielding at short, and by all indications he’s looking good and ready to go.
Another tidbit to watch as camp progresses is how Cody Bellinger acclimates to right field.
There’s been some rumors floating around the Internet as to players being disgruntled with their playing time, or lack there of, last season. Yasiel Puig told Andy McCullough of The Los Angeles Times that he “.. was hitting bombs in the World Series facing left handed pitching….I’m supposed to play every day.”
And then today, in an article in The Athletic, Pedro Moura talked to Bellinger about his amount of playing time.
“I should be in the lineup everyday,” Bellinger said. “I don’t think there’s a question about that. Even when I’m not good, I’m still really good.”
Bellinger has seen his role change from first baseman, to center fielder, and now to right fielder. Bellinger doesn’t seem too happy with the move to right, saying “I love center field. I love first. I will play right. I will do that. Getting in the lineup is important. Because if I play consistently, whether it’s left field, center, right, first base, I know for a fact that will win a Gold Glove. And they know I’m a Gold Glove anywhere I go. I just need to be in the lineup every day.”
The Dodgers have weathered a lot of discontent from both players and fans with the way their lineup and fielding has been constructed. And a disgruntled phenom such as Bellinger isn’t a good thing to have.
“This is a production business,” Roberts told Moura. “When you’re playing for a championship every single year, nothing is handed to anybody.”
Still, Bellinger does go on to say that the team has been very good with communication, and that he spoke with Roberts several times during the off-season, and will continue to do so during spring training. Three positions in three years is a lot to ask of a player, and I have no doubt Cody will take it to task to be the best player he can be at whatever position he’s asked to man.
11 thoughts on “Dodgers Spring Training Notes: Seager, Bellinger, Roberts & More”
Definitely good news on Seager. I am looking forward to seeing him at short again and not having to see the sneer of Machado out there anymore. I guess Puig had a point. He was not the only player that was unhappy in that club house. But for a kid like Bellinger to be making those noises, well, that is not good. A little cocky for him to say he should be out there every game. He had better start hitting lefty’s a little better. but cocky in a young player is something that is not really a bad thing. I remember how cocky Matt Kemp was when he first came up. My point is and always will be that the only way to get better at doing something is to do it a lot. Joc, Puig, and Kike to a degree have had holes in their game the last couple of years. Joc and Puig, it was lefty’s, Kike killed lefty’s, but could not hit RHP consistently until last year. And all that started AFTER the all star break. You can bet Yasiel is going to be in the Reds lineup every game as long as he is healthy. I am beginning to believe that Harper is going to be a Phillie before the end of next week. They have been the most aggressive, they have the cash, and they really want him.
I’ve gotta say, without offending some ladies on this board, hearing the sound of the pop of the catcher’s mit again, especially from young Urias, had a dang erotic sound to it lol. It’s time for baseball again.
I think Harper will end up in DC bear, old man Lerner, and boras have a good relationship, so I think at the last minute the nats swoop in, and make the best offer.
I would have agreed with that a few weeks ago. I just think he wants a change. Had the Dodgers ante’d up, he would be in LA. That’s where his heart is. There is also a report that the Mets have been kicking the tires and were the supposed mystery team. I get that Lerner and Boras have a good relationship, but it is going to be what Harper wants, not Boras.
Harper wants LA. You see Friedman doing any swooping?
I’m tired of the whole thing. I don’t much care anymore. I canceled my MLB ticket. I’ll read about it all in the newspapers the next day.
Has he ever? No, I do not think the ownership feels it is in the best interest of the team to spend that kind of money. I have seen rumors, unverified, that the Dodgers offered 10 years, on a front loaded deal with an opt out after 3. But like I said, those were not verified by a team source. I am also tired of the whole thing. It is getting old, and everyone and their brother is trying to be the first to break the news.
Washington is loaded in outfield now with good young controllable players, Soto Robles, Eaton and Taylor. Signing Machado and moving Turner to second or signing Kimbel to close makes more sense for them. They’re a loaded team, but in a tough division.
Like JD with Boston last year I think Philly is only legit contender for Harper
Maybe this is one reason that AF didn’t go crazy trying to get Harper. A quote from an article in the Washington Post: “”When the most famous player on the team can’t go 10 days without failing to run out a grounder or overthrowing a cutoff man or throwing to the wrong base, it’s hard to demand total alertness from the other 24. ‘Write it,’ one prominent Nats vet said.” As Friedman putters around making a few roster changes here and there, you simply aren’t getting invited to be a Dodger these days if you don’t do the little things and/or if you’re a distraction. Although I like stats as much as the next guy, I also believe that all 25 guys pulling in the same direction contributes a great deal to a successful season.
Great post Jefe. Very thought provoking.
Friedman knows how he wants to build a team. We’ve seen move after move for 5 years now. The stars of this team have been here a while, Buehler being maybe an exception. The periphery has been manipulated with failure, Anderson, Latos, McCarthy etc, to marginal success, guys like Hill and Machado, and noticeable success, guys like Taylor and Muncy. Players like Harper and Puig, talented as they are, don’t appear to be good fits in the Friedman construct. I didn’t care much for the process at first, especially the emphasis put on certain aspects and the lack of discipline in other areas, but the outcomes have been positive. One year in the 5 we were indeed the best team in baseball, only to lay an embarrassing egg in Game 7. At the moment we appear to remain one of the best, but not THE best. We remain a work in progress.
Talent (or lack thereof) aside, I don’t think there is any way that Latos would ever become a Dodger in today’s Friedman master plan. He would go after Hill-like personalities all day long and say “no thank you” to bringing a Latos type aboard.