March 9, 2014 |
PHOENIX - There's a massive painting hanging in a hallway of Dan Haren's home in Irvine that shows the pitcher, mid-windup, in the uniforms of the first four major league teams for which he played. It was meant to be a memento of an All-Star career. But it was outdated shortly after the paint dried. "Little did I know," said Haren, who has pitched for two more teams since hanging the artwork in his home two seasons ago. This spring he's wearing the blue script of the Dodgers, who signed him to a one-year, $10-million free-agent contract in November.
March 4, 2014 |
Here's a free tip to that legion of relievers making plans to be in the Dodgers' bullpen this season: Better be on your game early and often. General Manager Ned Colletti has assembled a relief corps of pitchers who are used to being in at the end of games, including former closers Brian Wilson, Brandon League and Chris Perez. Perez is the former Indians closer signed during the off-season, and his early spring results are all of the encouraging variety. Tuesday was a relievers game anyway, seven different members of the bullpen filling in for starter Zack Greinke, who remains out with a calf strain.
February 25, 2014 |
PHOENIX - With a long-awaited conflict again coming into view, Dodgers outfielders have taken a variety of approaches to what could be an uncomfortable situation. Matt Kemp was brazen, declaring he wouldn't be a fourth outfielder. Carl Crawford was understanding. Yasiel Puig was diplomatic, saying he would respect any decision made by Manager Don Mattingly. Then there is Andre Ethier, who, when asked about playing time and potential trades, smiled, shook his head and shrugged his shoulders.
February 22, 2014 |
PHOENIX - Told the Dodgers signed free-agent shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a five-year, $25-million contract, Yasiel Puig was flooded with memories of his childhood in Cuba. Puig and Arruebarrena met as 9-year-olds in Cienfuegos. They played together on various youth teams. Eventually, they became standouts on the Elefantes, their hometown club in Cuba's top baseball league. "He was a good friend of mine," Puig said Saturday. "We were always together. " They were frequently at each other's houses.
February 9, 2014 |
PHOENIX - Officially, Hyun-Jin Ryu doesn't weigh any less than he did last year. The Dodgers still list his weight as 255 pounds. But his face doesn't look nearly as self-indulgent. His torso appears leaner. "I weigh significantly less than I did this time last year," Ryu said through interpreter Martin Kim. Ryu declined to specify how much less - "Only I know," he said with a smile - but the South Korean left-hander certainly looked lighter on his feet Sunday in the first workout of the spring for the Dodgers pitchers and catchers.
February 4, 2014 |
The Dodgers still have a math problem in the outfield, but you have to wonder if it will ultimately be the one so anticipated. They still have four high-profile outfielders for three spots. Of course, they were expected to have the same problem last season after the emergence of Yasiel Puig. But because of various injuries, it happened one game all season. But now all four expect to be healthy. And to play, naturally. Matt Kemp made it clear he expects to be in the lineup each game, which would reduce this four for three to a three-for-two spots dilemma.