It’s the first full day of all position players reporting to camp at Camelback Ranch. It’s also day 12,472 of the Houston Astros cheating scandal.
Of course, it’s not, but it’s starting to feel that way. Thursday, I wrote about how it was time to put 2017 behind us and move on to this season. But, this particular saga just doesn’t seem like it’s going to go away.
As both the Houston players and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred continue to say asinine things about the investigation, Dodgers players continually find themselves having to speak out about it.
Yesterday, Manfred held a press conference in which he ultimately referred to the World Series trophy as “a piece of metal.” That very much bothered Justin Turner, who talked to reporters in the locker room on Monday morning.
“The only thing devaluing it now is the fact it’s ￼that it says ‘Commissioner’s Trophy on it.￼ It’s just unbelievable. Is he really that out of touch with the game, that those are his comments?￼ does he not know what we put into these seasons? Does he not know how much work we put in to getting that piece of metal?￼”
Turner is correct in being upset at how Commissioner Manfred is seemingly relegating a whole season’s work to just acquiring a shiny piece of metal. The lack of accountability also upset Mike Trout, who is normally a continuously unflappable person. The perennial AL MVP stated that he didn’t know what the repercussions should be, but it should certainly be more than what has happened, and that he’s lost respect for some players on the Astros. Baseball has a problem, and it starts at the top.￼
In actual baseball news, one of the newest members of the Dodgers threw his first bullpen session for his new team. Brusdar Graterol threw 25 pitches. Afterwards, he talked to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick and said that his goal is to be a big leaguer, regardless of his role on the team. The Dodgers currently view him as a bullpen piece.
Two other pitchers did not throw their scheduled bullpens today. Dustin May is dealing with a side-muscle issue and will be slow to start ramping up for the season. Newly acquired Jimmy Nelson is nursing a groin injury—his next bullpen has been indefinitely pushed back.
In healthy pitcher news, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Kenley Jansen all reported to spring training having thrown during the winter to keep their arms from tightening up. All three say they are feeling fresh, and most importantly, healthy. Buehler along with Tony Gonsolin threw to live batters today during practice.
Tyler White, a member of the 2017 Astros, cleared waivers and is back in camp with the Dodgers. However, he is no longer a member of the 40-man roster.
The Dodgers on Monday signed free agent outfielder Terrance Gore to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league spring training. Gore has spent parts of the last six seasons with the Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals. He has only hit a cumulative .224 over his career, but he’s a speedster on the base paths. He has stolen 40 bases and been caught nine times. Gore has no options remaining on his contract.