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2024 Spring Training Game 1 – Baseball is Baaaaack

What might we expect in the first Spring Training game of 2024.

It is expected that Yoshi Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow will be the two SP in Seoul on March 20 and 21.  Obviously, Yoshi Yamamoto has never faced SD.  Tyler Glasnow has faced the Padres in three 2018 games totaling 5.0 IP, and nothing since.  Neither pitcher is expected to pitch in ST Game 1.  I would not expect either pitcher to face SD in ST games.

In a quick perusal of current SD Padres hitters who have ever faced Glasnow, I could only find Xander Bogaerts who has faced Glasnow, and did so 18 times.  He is 2-15 with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. He had a single and double.

There is no reason to let these SD hitters stand in the box against Glasnow or Yamamoto before March 20 and March 21.  That being said, the Dodgers have to get ready for themselves and not worry about what SD does.

In the same tone, SD does not figure to pitch Michael King against the Dodgers in ST.  He was originally scheduled to follow Joe Musgrove in the opening ST game.  He has now been told he will instead throw live batting practice.  Why?  Nobody is saying.  King figures to be the SD #3 pitcher this season.  The Dodgers have faced both Musgrove and Yu Darvish, the expected SP on March 20/21, multiple times.

The Dodgers are expected to face LHRP Yuki Matsui in ST Game 1.

The Dodgers have not yet announced who will start (as I am writing), but Dave Roberts has said that both Michael Grove and Gavin Stone will pitch.

 

I am hoping that Stone starts to see how he does against what will presumably be primarily the regular lineup for at least one AB anyway.  Grove is destined to the bullpen.  The Dodgers have been reluctant to let the pitchers go more than one inning at the beginning of ST, but with the quick ramp up to the early start, will they at least let the starter come back and start the 2nd to see how he responds early in an up and down situation?  Doc does like to lift the pitchers in the middle of an inning in ST to bring in a reliever to finish, so I would not expect to see the SP complete 2.0 innings in their first start of Spring.

Shohei Ohtani will not play in the first ST game, so a DH spot will be open.  This is where I would like to see Miguel Vargas inserted.  He could have multiple ABs.

With Joe Musgrove starting, I would expect the LH lineup to start.  If he gets through 1 inning without facing Jason Heyward, will Heyward be allowed to hit against Matsui if he is on the mound.  Why not?  It is ST.

The Dodgers have almost as many catchers on their 40 man as they do OF.  I suspect we will see a lot of Hunter Feduccia.  I would not expect to see a lot of Smith or Barnes until about a week before the Dodgers head over to Korea.  They will still be doing a lot of BP catching, so Doc will want to save their legs as much as possible early on in ST.  My son caught a bunch of early ST games, and all of the long bus ride games.  But that worked out well for him because he got to catch Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling.  He caught Tim Wakefield a bunch.  Diego Cartaya, Dalton Rushing, and Chris Okey will all get a lot of time behind the dish.

After Stone and Grove, I expect to see a line of NRI pitchers follow.  There are 10 NRI pitchers listed:

  • Nabil Crismatt (RHP)
  • Stephen Gonsalves (LHP)
  • Kevin Gowdy (RHP)
  • Jesse Hahn (RHP)
  • Elieser Hernández (RHP)
  • TJ McFarland (LHP)
  • Michael Peterson (RHP)
  • Eduardo Salazar (RHP)

And then the two that should get a good run in ST:

  • Daniel Hudson
  • River Ryan

I am hopeful that Crismatt will get a chance in either Game 1 or 2.  He has not been shy about how he feels about the Padres.  Will Doc let River Ryan pitch against the team that was not looking at him as a pitcher?  That would be fun to see.

How many innings will Gavin Lux play at SS.  I know it is game 1, but I hope he is allowed to go at least 5 innings.  I expect Mookie, Freddie, Max, Smith, Teoscar, Outman, and J-Hey to all get 1 AB and let the reserves take over.  If Lux is allowed to play multiple innings, I would expect to see CT3 at 2B for Mookie, and Rojas to 3B for Max.  Manny Margot will replace J-Hey.  Then the long line of NRIs.

Andy Pages is on the ML roster, but I am not sure how much playing time he is going to get.  I think the Dodgers will be very cautious with him.

The NRIs are not all that lengthy for position players.

  • Chris Okey – Catcher
  • Dalton Rushing – Catcher
  • Jonathan Arauz – Infield
  • Austin Gauthier – Infield
  • Kevin Padlo – Infield
  • Trey Sweeney – Infield
  • Drew Avans – Outfield
  • José Ramos – Outfield
  • Travis Swaggerty – Outfield
  • Ryan Ward – Outfield

There will also be multiple times for MiLB players to get late inning opportunities.

I am looking forward to seeing Trey Sweeney get some time at SS.  I am also anxious to see Austin Gauthier play his CT3 role.  While not a NRI, will Yeiner Fernandez get some late inning SS/2B opportunities?  Just pontificating.

For me the biggest question and obstacle for the Dodgers in ST will be how will they get enough meaningful innings for the pitchers they have in camp?  Will they be stretched out enough by March 20, or are we going to see a pair of bullpen games to open the season?

The Dodgers leave for Korea on March 14.    There are only 21 games (including 1 split squad) before they depart.  At what point can we expect to see the regulars go 7+ innings?  What pitchers will be lengthened enough to pitch at least 5.0 innings.  It is possible that with the short ST that some SP will not get more than 3 starts.

 

 

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Bobby

Acuna international free agent. Judge 32nd pick in the draft.

Betts, round 4/5. Freeman Round 2.

Not all superstars are top 5 picks.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bobby
Oldbear48

Dodgers finally put up all the players numbers on their website. Kelly is wearing #99.

Duke Not Snider

The openers in Korea will be a big show for the fans, so I hope Yamamoto goes long enough to at least face Ha-Seong Kim twice. If Yoshi is strong, I hope Roberts lets him go long.
Yamamoto seems to have mastered his approach. He’s a workhorse who has thrown thousands of pitches without suffering a serious injury. Glasnow, on the other hand, should be handled with care. The Dodgers are putting a lot of faith in his rebuilt elbow. He’s also had
In other news, I don’t know mlb.com’s methodology, but I was surprised to see that Mookie, Shohei and Freddie were placed in Top Five player rankings heading into the season. Acuna was first, Mookie second, Judge third, Shohei fourth and Freddie fifth. Our old friend Corey Seager is sixth, Soto seventh..Etc.
This stuff isn’t significant, of course, but
I was a bit surprised because the day before mlb.com had five writers each rank their top five.
IIRC, Freddie didn’t make it a single list but Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez was chosen by each scribe, even though his OPS was only about 25 points higher than Outman’s. What I didn’t fully realize is that JRod had a fantastic second half, living up to the hype. So he’s on pace to be a Top Five guy. (Soto was also cited by several writers.
Looking at the top players inspires me resume my recommendation that AF secure the services of Devin Williams.
Sure, t he BP now is certainly good enough to help the Dodgers win 105 games and get to the playoffs. While some people like to say it then becomes “a crap shoot”–just a lot of luck–I’ll argue that it’s still baseball, and that talent and skill matter more.
So when the Dodgers face the Braves with the game on the line and Acuna, Olson and Riley coming up, I’d want the best possible reliever on the mound, not the fifth or sixth best.
Same for facing Trea Turner and Harper, Soto and Judge, or Seager and Semien.

Oldbear48

I doubt he goes more than 4 innings. They will be a little over a month into spring training when they play that series. Pitchers barely go five ever in spring anymore. I remember Koufax pitching 7 innings his last start before the season started. Pitch count these days is everything. I also seriously doubt they make any trades before the season starts unless something drastic happens. You can forget getting Williams unless they deal at the deadline. You can bet when those guys come to the plate it will be Brasier, Phillips, or Treinen if he is totally healthy. Hudson is in that mix too. They are light on shut down lefty relievers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Oldbear48
Mark Timmons

Yes, it is baseball, where you gauge a team by their win total, but “on any given day(s)” stuff happens. If you have ever played the game, you know that you can hit the ball “right on the screws” and make an out while later being fooled completely and ending up with a triple. Skill will win out in 162 games but luck can rule 5 games. That is just the nature of the game. That said, the Dodgers are due…

What happened last year was largely on Mookie… and he knows it! I look for him to be playing with a chip on his shoulder come October.

Busy last couple of days. I’m in Downtown Chicago on business, but I have my son and nephew doing the driving, so I am hoping that I will be watching the game on the way back. It’s really cool working with my son (our COO… soon-to-be CEO) and my nephew (VP – Business Development). This is the time of my life. Last week, we just completed our new website after a year and a half in development. http://www.uswatersystems.com

BTW, I know who Make Mine Blue is, and it’s amazing how I control him… still! I guess I am Edgar Bergen… BTW, I do not miss blogging. 20+ years was enough, and I have no desire to go back. I like to comment with no obligation anymore. Not saying I will never go back… but I am not so inclined right about now.

A comment was made yesterday and echoed that I am the only one who thinks Outman can’t hit LHP. That is untrue. Feel free to believe fiction, but there are a lot of people who think that. I hope JO can prove it’s not true, but I still have eyes and I see with them… not my heart!

I’m looking forward to watching the game today. I hope that the Padres get “Stoned.” Rumors say that Kim will be traded soon. Huh?

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark Timmons
Anthony H

Nice to hear you are working with your son and nephew. I too hope JO can prove himself against LHP. He seems to take coaching to heart (he improved as the season went on). Looking forward to some live baseball today. Safe Journey!

Phil Jones

I’m not buying that Outman “can’t hit LHP”. A more accurate statement is Outman doesn’t hit LHP with power. YET. Only 27% of his at bats were against LHP. I don’t want this to become a self fulfilling prophecy without way more opportunity. He hit .254 off LHP. Better than the .247 vs RHP. The rap is his OPS is 171 points less against LHP. And that reflects his lack of homes off LHP. OPS is heavily influenced by power and James hasn’t shown that. YET. I don’t get my panties in a wad with his lack of power. I’ll take his .254 and forget platooning this young kid until he gets a way better chance.

Bumsrap

Mark, you seem to want to voice your doubts about Outman more than I try to trade Muncy. I’ll try to stop if you will. Everybody already knows what we have said too many times.

Phil Jones

☝
☝

Last edited 1 month ago by Phil Jones
dodgerpatch

Yeah, it’s getting to be monomaniacal.

I think Outman is a 5th outfielder and can’t hit lefties.”

We know.

I don’t think Lux can play SS.”

We know.

“I think Vargas is a special hitter.”

We know.

Here’s my humble take on it, and I know it’s pretty shocking and controversial, but please hear me out! How ’bout, instead of discussing and arguing about hypotheticals ad nauseum, we just … see what happens?

Time will settle the argument.

Outman’s a guy who had a higher WAR than Xander Boegarts. Shouldn’t you at least give him the opportunity? Last year he started out strong, struggled for a good stretch of the season, but worked himself out of it. I think he should be given the same opportunity, and if he continues to struggle against lefties (and I wouldn’t say he ever “struggled” against LHP. He just didn’t have the power against them that he did against RHP), then it’s an easy fix to just play Margot.

I don’t understand the constant arguing and hand-wringing over this.

DodgerHorse

Thank you, Jeff !!!

Duke Not Snider

Just caught some video of Roberts talking to a group of reporters. A couple of things stood out:
–Rave review for “Vargy,” both for how he is swinging the bat and playing left field–and that he looks better than last season “when we kind of threw him in there.” Described him as “a very linear athlete.” (Not sure what that means exactly, though I’ve read that progress is not linear.) I interpreted one comment as suggesting that maybe Vargas has added some muscle–that he looks “stronger”–though I haven’t seen that reported elsewhere.
–Mentioned that Teoscar will play both LF and RF. This could mean that he–and not Margot or Taylor–will be Heyward’s platoon partner, and simply shift back to LF against righties. The best part of Teoscar’s defense is said to be his arm, so that makes sense. Roberts shied away from a suggestion that Teoscar should bat cleanup, saying only he’d be “in the middle of the order.”

Badger

Finally a baseball game. Been a long wet winter. Also been cold in some places. I don’t have to deal with cold anymore.

Facts matter Mark. What was said is you are the only one HERE that keeps pounding that point. What was pointed out to you is that Outman’s BA and OBP were actually better against LHP than RHP. What was very different was slugging %. In my opinion in his rookie year he did well enough against LHP to leave him out there against them. He will figure it out. I agree with you about Mookie last year. Add Freddie along side him. Those two were the reason. They both know it.

If Teoscar plays RF against LHP someone has to play LF. I suspect that will be Taylor. I still think Margot isn’t needed.

From a camera behind the plate I watched YoYama pitch this morning. I think I could hit him – if he was pitching from second base. Also watched Ohtani hit from the same camera angle. Every ball flew off his bat like he was hitting golf balls.

This will be a fun 162 to watch. But so was last year. And the year before that.

Dionysus

Vargas & Grove will be 27th & 28th on the roster.

Cassidy

After the 2020 season it looked like Seager, Bellinger, Urias and Buehler would be the core of the Dodgers 20’s decade. Now it looks like Kersh will outlast them all.
If Trevor Bauer doesn’t sign with Texas this year, then his 24 hours have run out on his MLB career

Badger

Bauer won’t face any criminal charges after settling out of court with the woman. No money was exchanged.

What about Urias?

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
OhioDodger

Urias is going to get a years suspension no matter what happens in the courts.
A team could probably sign Bauer very cheaply.

Last edited 1 month ago by OhioDodger
Mark Timmons

The Dodgers are too politically correct and marketing-driven to ever sign a Bauer or Urias. I look for Vargas to play a big role this year in LF. I think Teoscar will play RF when a LHP is on the mound, and LF will be where Vargas starts. Margot and/or Rojas could be traded depending on how Gavin Lux plays.

Badger

We don’t need them.

But…..though not crazy about what they did, the rush to judgment bothered me. Still does.

I’m pulling for Vargas. Margot? Meh.

Oldbear48

I read a story yesterday that Bauer would accept a league minimum contract with incentive clauses.

Phil Jones

I got a special pass to get inside the ropes at the Major League facilities at Camelback Ranch yesterday. I wondered between the fields and found a great spot right on the 3rd base fence by a gate where all the players were congregated. Pretty fun to hear all the comments and interactions, especially Freddy, Mookie and Muncy. Freddy said his wasn’t sure if he was ever going to wear the new uniform and said he had plans to play at no other venue besides The Ranch except Salt River. Be interesting to see if that’s true. I had easy viewing of all the activities unbothered until Ohtani showed up. I then got invaded with Japanese photographers who wanted to cut in and move me to take a million pictures. It’s really bullshit. The guy is just hounded. 
The nice lady at the gate counts fans entering. She said Saturday where were 1200 plus fans, journalists and photographers packed into that reasonable small practice areas. They started letting fans in like 25 at a time after some elderly lady got trampled.
Roaming around were Mark Walter, Andrew Friedman, Kirsten Watson and all the coaches, but NO Doc. Chatted briefly with John Shoemaker and Rick Honeycutt about pitching. He said Buehler had a 50 pitch bullpen session that went fine. Apparently his add lbs. Everything is good and they are just slow playing it.
Started off watching all the pitchers take an uninspired PFP session for about 15 minutes. Graterol looks like he’s drop some lbs and looks good. Tyler Glasgow is a giant.
My main interest was to watch the infielders get work in and I got what I wanted. I caught a nice round of infield work w/ double play work at full speed. Muncy, Lux and Rojas, Mookie, CT3 and who I think was Chris Ownings at 2nd and Freddie at first. Very crisp.  
Lux looked fine taking ground balls at 1/2 speed but I saw some hitch in his get-along at full speed, detecting a slight limp. I know it’s early and he’s still rehabbing, but it looked concerning to me. Maybe I’m dreaming but he did not look 100% at full speed.
Watching Rojas and Lux, side by side, at full speed is very revealing. Mechanically, there is no comparison. I’m on record as loving Miggy’s actions. He’s Ozzie Smith. His hands are extraordinary. He doesn’t really catch the ground ball, he deflects it into his throwing hand like a magic trick. His transfer is lightening; the ball gets into throwing hand faster than anybody. While normal players are taking the ball out of their glove, Rojas has already deflected the ball into his hand and is cocking to throw. Shortstops need to “get it out, get it up and get it in the air” quickly and he’s one of the quickest I’ve ever seen. And his feet are so good that he is always in position to throw as he catches the ball, with zero wasted movement. As an old shortstop myself I’m just captivated by his defensive chops.
Lux looks okay. Kinda Joe Schmo. Slower, less active feet, slower transfer and slower getting it in the air. “Adequate” would be my description at this point, which plays if he can hit.  
Muncy made some nice pics and is good when he’s aggressive to the ball. He seems to get the most out of his natural abilities. Again, adequate if he hits.
What a treat to watch so close up and compare each infielder side by side.
After that, there was some live BP. They had Freddie, Mookie, Ohtani, Heyward, Outman and Muncy get a few live reps off Yarborough and Hudson. Nice to see Outman get reps against a live LHP. Not much action with a pitcher, catcher, hitter, no fielders, as everybody else stood around bullshitting. Later, they hit off machines on 2 fields with regular BP, except no infield work being done. 
It’s so different than my day. Nobody shags during BP besides a few coaches using fungoes to knock balls back to the centerfield net where a gator picks em up between rounds. It reminds me how casual the pro workouts are compared to structured high school and college programs where things are timed, horns go off to signal the players to hustle to the next drill and standing around is strongly discouraged. Three rings going at once. Like a college football practice, things are scheduled so no one is standing around. This Dodger camp takes me back to all down time, bullshitting and time wasted as compared to other sports and levels.
It was fun and wetted my appetite for games to begin. I have tickets Sunday and Tuesday.

RC Dodger

Excellent summary of your day at camp!
Thanks for sharing the details with us!

Cassidy

Other sports don’t have a 162 game schedule. Love your analysis on Rojas! This year will reveal a lot about Lux and Outman

Last edited 1 month ago by Cassidy
Singing the Blue

Absolutely great stuff, Phil. Look forward to your comments from Sunday and Tuesday.

I’m another huge Rojas fan. Not only do I think he’s a great fielder, but (and even Doc has mentioned this), he’s like another coach on the field and in the clubhouse. Really a take charge guy which is fascinating to me because he’s hardly a star. I’d love to move him into the bench coach role here when he retires and he’ll make an excellent manager some day.

Loved his gesture of putting a bottle of wine in Shohei’s and YY’s lockers on the first day. He does everything he can to build team togetherness. Looks like Teoscar is another one who is working to do that.

Phil Jones

Couldn’t agree more STB about Rojas having the skills to be a manager someday.

Badger

Thanks Phil. Reminds me of the days I spent on the back fields. Watching pros take infield practice was one of my favorite things to do there.

Most Likely to Succeed names my first year in Glendale:

Ronnie Belliard
James McDonald
Brian Giles
Eric Stults
Blake DeWitt
Josh Lindbloom

Bobby

What a cool experience, Phil!

porpoiseboy

Hey old bear, MLB TV has a deal right now that you can get MLB TV plus Rockies. Costs like 50 bucks over the normal price though.

Last edited 1 month ago by porpoiseboy
Oldbear48

I renewed my subscription today and got the Veteran’s discount, cost 85 bucks instead of 150.

Last edited 1 month ago by Oldbear48
Bobby

For those that have TMobile phone service, I believe the MLB.tv is another perk you get for free

Oldbear48

Lux is the DH and Taylor is playing SS.

Oldbear48

Must be because they want to work him into it slowly. They are doing the same thing with Buehler. I also read a story about May throwing from 90 feet. He could be back by August. Would think if he is, he would pitch out of the pen.

Oldbear48

Exactly. There were interviews with Mookie and Lux during the game. Mookie challenged Kirsten to another foot race in two weeks. She beat him today. Lux said somedays his knee aches a little, but he feels he has to win the SS job.

Singing the Blue

Tigers have signed Gio Urshela to a one year, $1.5MM contract. That’s a ridiculous bargain, following the same contract the Rays gave Rosario which was also a major underpay.

Considering those contracts and The Boras Five being currently without teams, I expect we’ll see some collusion stories hit the airwaves by this afternoon.

Oldbear48

Tim Anderson signed a one-year deal with the Marlins, 5 mil.

Thomas Ernst

Tim Anderson signs a one year $5 million deal with the Marlins pending a physical.

Collective yawn from the local S.Florida media

I think he turned down a player option for $14 million with the White Sox.

Singing the Blue

Florida’s climate is much better………………..but I’m not sure it’s 9 mil better.

Singing the Blue

Actually, now that I think of it, I believe the Sox were the ones who declined the option.

dodgerpatch

I used ChatGPT. Here’s what it says about a moderate posterior capsule shoulder strain:

“The recovery time for a moderate posterior capsule right shoulder strain in a professional baseball pitcher can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the strain, the pitcher’s individual physiology, their adherence to rehabilitation protocols, and the effectiveness of their treatment plan.

In general, a moderate posterior capsule strain may require several weeks to several months of rest and rehabilitation before the pitcher can return to pitching at their full capacity.”

Dodgerrick

Last Spring, Walker Buehler was going to try to be ready to help the team for its post-season run. The Dodgers backed off of that, but still, this is Buehler’s 2nd TJ surgery in 8 years. This is what Dave Roberts said about it, as reported by the LA Times:
“Buehler is only up to about 92 mph with his fastball in his bullpen sessions, Roberts said; something the manager insisted is “a good spot for middle of February,” but still several ticks away from his pre-injury averages.
The consistency of Buehler’s command and execution also aren’t back to his old peak levels, Roberts said — though, again, the manager noted he isn’t “expected to be right now.””

Buehler and Ohtani are coming off of their 2nd TJs. And May has had major elbow surgery (flexor tendon reconstruction) a year after his TJ.

It’s very possible that none of them are able to pitch well again. The track record on pitchers coming back from 2 TJs is not a good one.

Oldbear48

And the first homer of spring is hit by Kevin Padlo. Scored 14 runs, had 9 walks and a hit batter. But they struck out 16 times. Pads had 12 K’s. Stone, Vanasco, Hernandez and Rooney looked pretty good. Vesia gave up the only run on a homer to Cronenworth. Musgrove gave up 6 runs without getting an out.

Oldbear48

I know it is only spring, but I love beating the Padres.

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