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Dodgers Rout Padres in ST Game 1

The kids came to play for the Dodgers; both position players and pitchers.  The Dodgers started 4 players who are expected to start on March 20: Mookie, James Outman, Teoscar Hernández, and Gavin Lux.  They went 2-7, but with 4 BB, 1 HBP, and scored 4 runs.

The Dodgers faced off against the Joe Musgrove.  Musgrove looked like it was his 1st ST game.  He could not land his breaking ball.  He faced 4 batters, walked 2, 1 HBP, a Teoscar ground rule double plating 2, and his afternoon was done.  He threw around 25 pitches.  Musgrove will look a lot different when he faces the Dodgers for real on March 20 in Seoul.

Besides the 2 run ground rule double by Hernandez, the Dodgers also got a 2 run ground rule double by Chris Owings, a 2 run single by Andy Pages, and a 2 run booming HR by Kevin Padlo, all in the 1st inning.

The Dodgers batted around a second time in the 6th inning, thanks to the kids.  Trey Sweeney got an infield single, Mr. OBP, Austin Gauthier, drew a walk, Travis Swaggerty had an RBI single. Drew Avans also had an RBI single before José Ramos lined a 2 run double down the left field line. Ryan Ward drew a BB before Hunter Feduccia and Brandon Lewis struck out.  Kody Hoese grounded a ball just inside 3rd and down the line for a 2 run double to end the scoring.

The Dodgers scored 14 runs on 12 hits, 9 BB, 1 HBP, and 16 strikeouts, including 6 straight in the 2nd and 3rd inning.  Five XBH.  7-14 WRISP.

Before I address the LAD pitching, I want to acknowledge that San Diego has found another LHRP.  Yuki Matsui looked overwhelming.  I know he only faced a LH hitting Gavin Lux, Chris Owings, and Andy Pages, but he looked terrific, especially with his splitter.

While the Dodgers started only 4 players that are expected to start on March 20, the Padres started between 7-8 regulars.  Jackson Merrill who is an elite SS prospect (#19 overall by MLB Pipeline) looked like a natural LF.  He may very well be the starting LF on March 20.  Eguy Rosario could be the starting 3B until Manny Machado is able to play 3B, although Machado should be the DH on Opening Day.

Gavin Stone started for the Dodgers and looked very good facing Fernando Tatis, Jr., Xander Bogaerts, and Jake Cronenworth.  All three figuring to start, and he looked effortless getting all three.  He struck out Tatis on a very nice change that came out of the same tunnel as his fastball.  He looks like he is ready to challenge for that #5 SP.

Grove allowed a single and BB, but looked good as well.  His slider looked very good at times.  He was just missing on his BB to Rosario.  He will pitch in LA this year.

Ricky Vanasco faced three batters, got two ground ball outs, and struck out Bogaerts.  I still believe he will be on the 26 man sooner than later.

Alex Vesia was the one pitcher for the Dodgers in Game 1 that probably has a spot on the OD roster.  He gave up a HR to LH hitting Jake Cronenworth.  Another LH hitter, Jackson Merrill also hit the ball hard, but Chris Owings  made a good play at 3B to record a force out.  Vesia was the least effective LAD pitcher on the day, but did not do anything to put his spot in danger.

John Rooney battled the two RH hitters he faced, but owned LH hitting backup catcher, Brett Sullivan.

The other NRI pitchers, Elieser Hernández, Stephen Gonsalves, Kevin Gowdy, and Eduardo Salazar each pitched a shutout inning.

Typical game 1 ST game.  39 position players (20 LAD and 19 SD) and 21 pitchers (9 LAD and 12 SD).  60 players total.

The three conclusions for me were:

  1. Gavin Stone looks significantly improved, and is firmly in the #5 SP discussion.
  2. The Dodgers have a lot of work to do against Yuki Matsui. Gavin Lux was especially impressed with Matsui.
  3. The Dodgers depth plays very well in both position players and pitching. Much deeper than SD.

Landon Knack will start game 2 on Friday against SD.  Tyler Glasnow will start Saturday against LAA, and per Kirsten Watson, might be going 2 innings.

 

 

 

 

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Singing the Blue

Really rooting for Stone.
Some guy, can’t remember who, said “progress is not linear”. Actually he said it about 100 times. But that doesn’t mean it ain’t true.
Based on one small sample today, Gavin looks like he’s back on track.

Duke Not Snider

Stone has put in serious work in the weight room. Great spring debut.
I was a bit surprised that Lux was at DH, not SS. He’ll be out there, of course. Just a bit anxious to see him making plays.
Good to see Pages out there. Perhaps he’ll be in the mix in ’24 despite previous reports suggesting that ’25 is more likely.
Just one spring game…. a 14-1 blowout.
But are the Dodgers pitchers that good or the Padres batters that bad?

Dionysus

I’m still surprised how fit Pages is. He dropped some weight and kept it off. Looks like a player.

Agree that Stone looked good.

Oldbear48

Loved the first inning. Musgrove was so bad he doesn’t have an ERA. Matsui was amazing.

Dionysus

Vanasco looks like a born reliever. One of these guys is going to be a yearlong stalwart.

Mark Timmons

I expect to win like that every game… especially after we get Ohtani back.

I wondered how Pages would look… it looks like he is serious about fitness. He is not far off… maybe this season. He is a premier power threat.

Gavin Stone and Ricky Vanasco looked like keepers.

Rooney shows promise.

This game means nothing! 😉

I still don’t get all the vitriol about what I say about James Outman for these reasons: (1) I have said he deserves the chance to hit against LHP; (2) I just think he will not be able to do it; and (3) I have said I hope I am wrong. It’s my damn opinion. I have been wrong before, and I hope I am wrong here. I did not slander the guy. OTOH, I have commended his attitude and teachability. I did not steal your lunch money and slap your face. Many of you have stated your opinion about JO… repeatedly. Can we agree to disagree and see what happens? History will be the judge.

Duke Not Snider

I hope we see Vargas out in left field A LOT this spring.
Right now he is considered the 27-man on a 26-man roster, but what if Pages outshines him? One is known for his bat-to-ball talent, the other more for power. I assume Pages is probably the better defender since he has always played OF.
Remember: Last spring Outman was not expected to make the Dodgers OD roster. Then Lux’s injury exposed an opportunity for a lefty bat and Outman shined, showing he could handle CF.
I don’t want to see an injury, but it would be great if Vargas and Page could break through. (Still see a possibility for Margot getting moved in a trade.)…

Seems that there aren’t any true position battles beyond the fifth starter and perhaps the lefty reliever.
I didn’t witness it but heard that Sweeney showed impressive speed on an infield hit. He might just be an injury away from getting called up.

Mark Timmons

As it stands right about now, I would say that Pages and Vargas are the top candidates for RF and LF… in 2025.

Dionysus

Sweeney is a big boy.

Dave

Yes, Margot coukd be moved w no significant loss because we have Teo, CT, Vargas and Pages to fill in.

Badger

“But if an infielder does goes down, I think it would be Vargas who gets the call”

Vargas is learning left field and listening intently to Ethier’s instructions. Why would he get the call for middle infielder? Or are you saying he would get the call to be the 26th man?

I read a scouting report that gave him a 40 run grade, claiming he lacked speed, quick twitch muscle athleticism and first base was his only fallback position. I call b.s. on all that. Vargas can run, you don’t get this far without fast twitch, and I think he can play multiple positions if necessary and play them well. But that’s me. I’m a fan.

Bumsrap

I remember Ethier letting a lot of balls drop in front of him for hits in left field.

Duke Not Snider

Ethier did win a gold glove once. I also remember him playing CF for a while.
I’m just hoping for competence from Vargas in LF. Maybe he’ll be another Buckner–good offense, dubious D. Today’s highlight had me wondering if he got a good break or not.
If Vargas forces himself onto the roster, he’ll in LF when lefties are pitching, with Teo shifting to RF. An injury to Heyward would put Teoscar in RF full-time, and Vargas could have full-time opportunity as well.
But we shouldn’t hope for injuries… well, maybe a minor one to Barnes, so Fedducia gets his chance.
I’m still a bit puzzled Vargas isn’t playing some 3B as well. This was his primary position in the minors, after all. If Max gets hurt, they could plug in Taylor or Rojas. But shouldn’t Vargas be an option too?

dodgerpatch

Vargas will be in AAA, and he just needs to start in LF every game. Take fielding practice before every game. Watch video on fielding. Get tutoring from the organization’s instructors.

If there’s any path to him making the roster next year, LF is it.

And even if he becomes competent as a LFer, he still has to hit, which is something he hasn’t yet done at the MLB level.

And even if his bat-to-ball skills are special, he has to hit for power if he’s going to fit the profile as a left fielder. A second basemen can get away in the modern game hitting less than 20 hr a season. LF is where you hide an offense-first player. Your left fielder needs to mash. That means he has to live up to Mark’s hype. He needs to hit for average AND hit 25+ home runs.

.275-.285/25 HR/130 wRC+ and he can stick at LF. Anything below that, and with average to subpar defense, he’s trade bait.

He can make it, but there’s some hurdles he needs to overcome the Jose Offerman vibes he gives off (a lot of prospect hype, a meh overall MLB career).

Last edited 1 month ago by dodgerpatch
Bluto

Rooney looks like an interesting LHRP, but nothing should be spoken about before the jerky windup of Gowdy!!!!

That shit was wild!

Bluto

Found this very interesting:

Dave Roberts said Gavin Stone was tipping pitches last year, and they feel really positive about him going into this year because of some of the underlying data.

Mark Timmons

I heard that a month ago, but it begs the question of who discovered it?

Badger

Yep. As you know I wondered something similar – if it’s true, why didn’t the Dodgers see it?

I heard him in an interview yesterday say he’s added pitches to his arsenal and just needs to develop the confidence to use all of them in crucial situations. It sounds to me like he’s ready to step in at 5-6 in the rotation. Sure hope so.

Bumsrap

Apparently he didn’t tip off all types of pitches

Duke Not Snider

A subplot in this game was the bullpen competition among lefties.
Vesia got rocked.
And Rooney pitched a clean ninth, with one K.
Rooney was a 2018 third round pick who seemed promising until he wasn’t. But his stock has been up since the Dodgers moved him to the BP last season. From Baseball America: “Rooney struggled as a starter against upper-level hitters, but his stuff ticked up with a move to the bullpen in 2023. He gained more than 4 mph on his fastball and posted a 2.86 ERA in 53 appearances across Double-A and Triple-A.”
A commentator pointed out a lot of these pitchers are now trying to impress not just the Dodgers but scouts across the MLB. Some will be released and find work elsewhere. Their performances could also factor into potential moves by AF.

Dionysus

Although part of me wishes Stone had a clear path to a starting job, we have played this offseason perfectly. Everyone knows we’ll need a 6th starter so he’s right there primed to go.

I do wonder about the bullpen. I have six for-now locks in Phillips, Kelly, Brasier, Graterol, Yarbs & Vesia then a scrum for the last two jobs.

Fallito

Finally some Dodger Baseball. Glad to see Andy Pages healthy and fit over there. Man, I really hate that AVesia shoulders thingy he does every time he got hammered!

norcaldodgerfan

Landon Knack starts todays game at CBR. It will be interesting to see if can copy the 1 inning performance of Stone who is in a battle along with Sheehan to nab that last remaining SP position on the roster.

Knack has great control and I’m hoping for big things from him. He is my “dark horse” SP candidate to step up this year and make some very important starts.

Last edited 1 month ago by norcaldodgerfan
Dionysus

Knack I would not mind being traded or kept in reserves in AAA. Stone needs to be pitching now.

Badger

“The Dodgers are not going to a 6 man rotation this year”

Yeah they are. Nobody in this rotation is going to start more than 25 games.

Dionysus

Chris Owings has an interesting B-Ref page. He can kinda do it all, though not necessarily all well.

Off-brand Chris Taylor.

Former 1st round pick too.

Cassidy

Lux again not playing SS. What’s up?

Oldbear48

Don’t read anything into it. I listened to the interview with him yesterday during the game. He is being brought along slowly. He said he usually feels like he is at 95 percent Some knee stiffness, but nothing to worry about. His surgery was less than a year ago, so that is expected. All the guys playing today, did not play yesterday except Ramos, Rushing and Owings.

Last edited 1 month ago by Oldbear48
Badger

To answer your question above about who comes up if there’s an infield injury, if Owings is at AAA it would be him. I saw a lot of him in Arizona. He’s a baller. I don’t think he stays with us. He can make a 26 somewhere.

Duke Not Snider

Like Taylor. Like Sweeney…
Maybe Sweeney is the next Chris Owings!

Dionysus

Good stuff, Jeff. Thanks

Dionysus

When I see Knack it makes me understand why they were willing to trade Pepiot. We have others.

Duke Not Snider

Seems like Vesia has a lot of competition to be that lefty option in the bullpen. Rooney, Gamboa, Dreyer, Gage, Tyranski… who else?
Tanner Dodson was the player the Dodgers got for Luke Raley. It’s nice that Raley has turned into a solid big leaguer.
Knack could force his way onto the roster, especially is his rivals slip.
The perception seems to be that Sheehan and Stone have the higher ceilings, as they say, but Knack may have the higher floor.
Disappointed to learn that River Ryan is injured and won’t throw in spring training. He’s another high-ceiling guy.

Oldbear48

Another day, another win, ho hum. Pitchers looked really good

Singing the Blue

When you have that many pitchers looking good sometimes it’s a good idea to look at the hitters they’re facing.

Mark Timmons

Goodbye everyone!

Oldbear48

Where ya going Mark?

Dionysus

Don’t do it!

Bumsrap

I enjoyed you here Mark.

Duke Not Snider

Was it something I wrote?
Or didn’t write?

Oldbear48

Same goes for their pitchers too.

Singing the Blue

True.
These two games really haven’t proven anything…………..yet.

Oldbear48

Everybody knows that. It is just more fun to see them win than see them lose. No one in their right mind would seriously consider these games anything but what they are, practice. Getting reps.

Bumsrap

Friedman said Stone is impressing him.

Dionysus

Velocity, physicality, mound presence. He’s ready.

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