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.