The Los Angeles Dodgers now find themselves just two weeks away from the start of the 2023 season.
Several of the Dodgers players have been participating in the World Baseball Classic. Team USA, with Mookie Betts and Will Smith, and Team Mexico, with Julio Urías and Austin Barnes, have both moved on to the second round.
Teams Canada and Great Britain did not advance, meaning that Freddie Freeman and Trayce Thompson are both back at Dodgers camp.
Fans of the Dodgers held their breath when Freeman was removed from Tuesday’s Pool game with hamstring tightness. It looks as though the injury is not too serious however, as he is expected to return to the Dodgers lineup on Saturday. Freeman is expected to be the designated hitter, and on Sunday will return to playing first base.
Thompson is expected to be in the lineup in Friday’s game.
Noah Syndergaard has continued to look good in his outings. While still not pitching with as much heat as he has previously, but it doesn’t so much seem to matter. In Cactus League games so far this spring, Thor has a minuscule 0.96 ERA, which equates to one run over 9.1 innings of work. He has not walked any, and struck out eight.
Syndergaard pitched in a B game against the White Sox on Thursday, and manager Dave Roberts said that the outing went well. “He was efficient and in the zone”, Roberts told reporters after.
Roberts also said that Noah’s fastballs were sitting 93-95 mph. That fastball has slowly ticked up as spring has progressed. Time will tell what it eventually tops out at but it seems as though at this point, he does not need to throw 100mph to be dominant.
Clayton Kershaw will make just his second start of spring Thursday evening, against the Texas Ranger. Kershaw allowed 3 earned runs in 3.0 innings in his first outing, walking two and striking out two.
And once again, the Dodgers have shown that they are a world class organization once again renewing the contract of Andrew Toles. The former outfielder suffers from schizophrenia, and by renewing the contract, it allows Toles to have health insurance and access to medical care he may need. The Dodgers have no expectations that Toles will return to Dodger Blue or baseball, but he will remain on the restricted list. We here at TBPC as always wish Tolesy and his family the very best.