Tuesday will mark the first full-squad workout for the team. Sunday will be the team’s first game of spring training against the Oakland Athletics.
SportsNet LA announced on Monday that they will carry all of the spring training games. 18 games will also be available on the radio, in both Spanish and English broadcasts. You can find the full schedule of games here:
Knebel returning to his 2017 form would be just a huge coup for the bullpen, and Manager Dave Roberts said that Knebel would likely be used in high-leverage situations. The primary group already has Kenley Jansen, Brusdar Graterol, and Victor Gonzalez, among other. Adding Knebel and Vesia would be so fun to watch. Dennis covered more on Vesia on Sunday.
Catcher Austin Barnes stated after Monday’s practice that David Price, Buehler, and Knebel have really stood out to him so far. Both Price and Buehler are encouraging; Price because of opting out of last season, and for Buehler because he usually starts spring slower than most other pitchers.
Buehler has kept up most of his throwing routine throughout the winter to be better prepared to start the season with the rest of the pitching staff.
Buehler did comment after his first bullpen session that he was not feeling any ill effects from the blister issues that had plagued him last year. “We’ll keep an eye on it and be conscious of it, but as of right now I’m not super concerned,” Buehler stated.
Monday, Roberts stated that he views the catching situation as Will Smith and Barnes as catchers 1A and 1B. Just another advantage that the Dodgers have that they have two more than capable catchers to share time and handle their formidable pitching staff.
That pitching staff should benefit from the new, deadened baseballs. Roberts commented on a piece in the LA Times that his pitchers have been frustrated with how they would execute a two-strike, down and away fastball, only to have to batter flick his wrist and hit a opposite-field home run.
“I haven’t dug too much into it, but there have been many pitchers in our camp who have expressed their feelings as far as last year’s baseball being a lot harder and the strings wound a lot tighter than they potentially would be this year. So it’s a welcome thing for pitchers”, Roberts said.