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Dodgers News and Notes from Day One of Spring Training

Feb 16, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws during a spring training workout at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Pitchers and Catchers Report Day to all who celebrate!

The Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team is going to look quite different this season than it has previously. 12 members of last years team are off to other various baseball adventures, or retirement. (Godspeed, Jake McGee. And probably David Price).

The clubhouse will miss its defacto captain, Justin Turner. They of course will still have the incredible veteran leadership of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Clayton Kershaw. The core group is strong. It will be interesting to watch how the starting nine and rotation shake out as Spring Training continues.

There was a new/old name in the locker room Wednesday morning. The Dodgers have reportedly re-signed pitcher Jimmy Nelson to a one-year contract. It is a Major League contract, and could be worth up to $4M based on performance bonuses.

The right hander has spent the last three seasons with the Dodgers organization, most of it on the injured list. He has pitched only 28 times in the majors, all in 2021. He went 1-2 with a 1.86 ERA including one start, over those appearances.

Nelson has most recently been recovering from Tommy John surgery and a flexor tendon repair. Last season Nelson was quoted as saying there was “unfinished business” with him and the team.

Blake Treinen’ spoke to reporters Wednesday about his progress in recovering from his surgery. He indicated this injury was different from his capsule injury, and it impacted his ability to throw a cutter. The reliever had thought he would be able to recover enough to have an impact in October.

Treinen said that he thought his shoulder was in a good spot now, and does not yet want to rule out pitching in the 2023 season.

A couple of MLB housekeeping notes –

There will be bigger bases this season. The idea had been floated for a few years and will finally be implemented this year. The new bases are 18” as opposed to the previous 15”. It will reduce the distance from third to home, and home to first, by three inches, and first to second and second to third by 4.5”.

This will also be the first season with a pitch timers. Pitchers will have only 15 seconds between pitches to throw the next one when the bases are empty, 20 seconds with runners on, and 30 seconds between batters. Umpires will wear little buzzers to let them know when time has expired.

Hitters get only one time out per at bat. The penalty for going over the time or timeout limit will be an automatic ball for the pitcher, and strike on the batter.

Clayton Kershaw had this to say about the pitch timers – “I’m going to try to not get a shot clock violation”

It’s good to have baseball back.

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