Nine years ago my grown son dragged me to Phoenix for a weekend spring training visit. I’m a lifelong fan of the Dodgers, but had never done the “spring thing.” However, after one visit, I was hooked. I’ve gone every year since and feel fortunate that my son and his friends seem happy to include me at their annual gathering. The following may include details that you couldn’t care less about, but I’m including them for the benefit of those who have never been and who might be thinking of making the trip one day.
The end of spring training is rapidly approaching. Some things are becoming a little more clear, either through cuts or the performances of the players themselves. There is still much to be determined, namely the outfield.
So, apparently my previous declaration of the Dodgers never losing again after the first Cactus League game of the season was a little off base, as the team hasn’t won again since. I know, it’s only been three games, but still, guys, way to make me look bad.
As the spring training reporting dates for players are drawing ever so near, there haven’t been a typically high number of story lines surrounding the Dodgers so far, outside of a few potentially tight positional battles at catcher and left field. Many people don’t expect much to happen during the time between the first squad workout on February 19 and the Cactus League opener against the White Sox on February 23, but we made a list of five things to look for during the early days of camp, which could impact the landscape of the squad come Opening Day.
The Dodgers looked nice and ready for Opening Day yesterday in their game against the Texas Rangers. Clayton Kershaw went for his longest outing yet, and was dominant — he struck out 11 of the 21 batters he faced in 92 pitches, allowing two hits and one walk. The prime time slot for the game last night showed MLB that its best pitcher he’s ready to go.
The countdown is on — just two weeks until the Dodgers open up the season against the San Diego Padres. Clayton Kershaw will be the starter that day, but on his last start he looked less than Kershaw-like. Kersh allowed three home runs, four runs total on six hits in five innings. He also had eight strikeouts and two walks.
The Dodgers just had their first day off of spring training, but some were playing games anyway — just not with the Dodgers. Various players were off competing for their native countries in the World Baseball Classic. There are thoughts against letting MLB players play in this tournament, as risk of injury is always high on the list. I’m sure we all remember Hanley Ramirez and his thumb injury in 2013. But for some players, it’s a way to represent their country, while also working on their skills for the upcoming season.
The Dodgers are undefeated so far in spring training. Who cares if there’s only been two games? Yesterday’s game was a wild affair, where the Dodgers allowed the Milwaukee Brewers to score seven unanswered runs and still won the game 10-8. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, the second game of spring training doesn’t really mean much. But let’s take a look at what does.
The first week of Dodgers spring training has come and gone, and the first game of the spring is upon us. The Dodgers will play the Chicago White Sox tomorrow, with whom they share the facilities at Camelback Ranch. Slated to be the starting pitcher is none other than Clayton Kershaw. He is expected to only pitch one inning. Taking their place in line behind him will be Alex Wood, Josh Ravin, Jacob Rhame, and Madison Younginer. Starters are expected to play through two at-bats.