DODGERS NEWS/RUMORS/INJURIES Thread

Discussion in 'Los Angeles DODGERS' started by irish, Feb 8, 2014.

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  1. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    Mattingly discusses high expectations, Kemp's health
    Dodgers' skipper seeks improved consistency with talent-loaded roster
    By Ken Gurnick | MLB.com -- 3 hours ago

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    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on Saturday, manager Don Mattingly had some discouraging news about outfielder Matt Kemp.

    "It doesn't look like he'll be ready for Australia," Mattingly said of Kemp, who is on a conservative rehab program after serious ankle surgery. "He hasn't run outside."

    The update on Kemp, although not a surprise, was the rare downer in Mattingly's first media briefing of camp, in which he said he welcomed the high expectations that come with a $230 million payroll and an NL Championship Series elimination.

    "It's good to have it," he said of being favored to win. "It's there and it should be there. We had to deal with it last year. They are realistic expectations. We have a talented club and we're capable."

    The Dodgers made relatively minor tweaks to the roster during the winter, but Mattingly said the addition of Dan Haren as No. 4 starter Rickey Nolasco's replacement is being overlooked.

    "To me, that was a huge pickup," he said. "We've had to prepare [to face him] so many times. The guy's not a fun at-bat. His problems last year were mechanical and he got back to his old self in the second half. I'm excited about having another quality guy."

    Mattingly said he seeks improved consistency this year and not a repeat of the last-to-first comeback that was required in last year's stunning turnaround.

    "You can't count on winning 42 of 50," Mattingly said of last year's surge. "You don't want to get in position where you have to win 42 of 50 to get back in the thing. We need to be more consistent. I see it as winning every series and you'll be in pretty good shape. The next thing you know, you're 20 over [.500]."

    Mattingly confirmed that he's considering batting Yasiel Puig leadoff this year "because I like to get him extra at-bats," drawing a comparison to when Mike Trout bats leadoff for the Angels.

    "You think you know what he can be, a middle of the order guy who's capable of hitting 30 homers and hit for average and you don't want to waste that, but you don't know when," he said. "It could be this year, another year, you're not sure."

    Mattingly said moving Carl Crawford down to second in the order was not an attempt to protect Crawford's hamstrings, which put the outfielder on the disabled list and nagged him all season. "Carl did a nice job [leading of]," Mattingly said. "I heard somebody [on the radio] say Carl doesn't want to bat leadoff. He's never said that once. I hate hearing them spit out old news. I don't think [batting second] protects his legs. Giving him days off will protect his legs. If he's healthy, he's going to want to run. He had two hammys, but by the end of the season his body told us he wanted to run."

    Mattingly downplayed concern over the uncertainty at second base, where the Dodgers expected Cuban signing Alex Guerrero to step in for Mark Ellis, who left as a free agent and signed with St. Louis.

    The Dodgers have collected a handful of fallback options -- Chone Figgins, Justin Turner, Dee Gordon, Justin Sellers, Brendan Harris and Miguel Rojas -- but Mattingly issued a solid endorsement of Guerrero, a natural shortstop still learning to play second base.

    "The guys our scouts have told us are able to play, are able to play," he said. "I think Alex will be able to play and I'm pretty confident Alex will be OK. They haven't missed by much. He has great hands, he's played short, he's athletic with a great attitude and he works hard. Is there a timetable? Will he be there Day One? We'll see. In general, we think the guy can play and he's going to be good."

    Mattingly said he was equally upbeat about a bench that has jettisoned veterans like Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker.

    "I like [competition]," he said. "Yasiel came last year and it set up good competition. I like that. I don't like when just about every spot on the roster is set and everyone knows it. I like competition, fight to show what you can do. I'm excited about that."

    Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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  2. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    Billingsley: "I feel like I have a whole new arm"
    By Ken Gurnick | MLB.com -- 3 hours ago

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    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley almost feels too good nine months after Tommy John elbow reconstruction.

    "My arm hasn't felt this good in a few years. I feel like I have a whole new arm," Billingsley said on reporting day for Spring Training. "They keep telling me, don't throw 95 [mph] yet."

    "I think this is the dangerous time for him," said manager Don Mattingly. "He's going out there with the other guys and he can't go to another level, trying to keep up with the Joneses."

    Billingsley said he's thrown off a mound nine times, tossing only semi-fastballs in the low 80s (mph), and was up to 36 pitches on Friday. He speculated that he might add curveballs by the end of the month, then throw to live hitters in March. He hopes to move on to game situations by the end of March.

    That would seem to put Billingsley ahead of the projected return of late May or June.

    "Nobody knows when I can come back," he said. "I just continue one week at a time."

    Billingsley said he's learned a lot about patience -- and about the monotony of rehab -- but he doesn't regret not having the surgery earlier. He's confident the procedure fully repaired the ligament he tore.

    "With Tommy John, there's such a high success rate, and my arm feels unbelievable," he said. "You have guys who take a while with their range of motion, but everything has come easy to me. It's been a smooth rehab process."

    Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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  3. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    Greinke weighs in on Kershaw's record deal
    By Ken Gurnick | MLB.com -- 4 hours ago

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    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Zack Greinke, who a year ago signed a record contract with the Dodgers, said the deal teammate Clayton Kershaw signed with the club was solid for both sides.

    "It's a good deal for him, but the club should benefit too," said Greinke, whose $147 million contract was far eclipsed by Kershaw's $215 million deal.

    "He's been so good, anything he gets you'd probably say he's worth. Maybe he got a little more than I thought, maybe a million a year more. The opt-out is big -- he'll only be 28 [actually 30]. That's the main reason you might say it will be better [for Kershaw]. I think it's pretty fair all the way around."

    Greinke's contract is for six years, with an opt-out clause after the third season. Kershaw's contract is for seven years, with an opt-out after the fifth season.

    Greinke said he's optimistic about the Dodgers' chances this year.

    "From what I've read, you guys don't have as high expectations as I do," he said. "We're probably better than last year. We've got seven guys, I'm not sure of the number, that would be top-tier pitchers on any team."

    Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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  4. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    wow, thanks for the news flash...
    • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that the Dodgers still have an outfield surplus with Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig in tow, but don't appear to be in any hurry to break it up.
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  5. BlueMouse

    BlueMouse 2020 World Champions Staff Member Administrator

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    I need to follow Nick Cafardo on Twitter. How does someone from Bahston get ahold of breaking news like this?
     
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  6. KOUFAX0000

    KOUFAX0000 DSP Legend Damned

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    I think this is the dangerous time for him," said manager Don Mattingly. "He's going out there with the other guys and he can't go to another level, trying to keep up with the Joneses."


    Who are the Joneses?
     
  7. KOUFAX0000

    KOUFAX0000 DSP Legend Damned

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    It seems Grainkey isn't good with numbers.
     
  8. carolinabluedodger

    carolinabluedodger DSP Legend

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    Some people just have their finger on the pulse 24/7.

    :deadhorse:
     
  9. back2back x 2 + 1

    back2back x 2 + 1 DSP Legend Damned

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    Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says that newly-acquired starter Paul Maholm knows he might wind up pitching in relief if Josh Beckett is healthy and named the fifth starter, tweets Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.




    Wright and Maholm as our long men? pretty damn solid.
     
  10. LASports96

    LASports96 DSP Legend

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    Wish we never signed Wright, ugh
     
  11. Doughty8

    Doughty8 DSP Legend

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    #Dodgers Hyun-Jin Ryu said he is "significantly lighter" than he was at start of spring training last year.
     
  12. KOUFAX0000

    KOUFAX0000 DSP Legend Damned

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    In the loafers?
     
  13. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    :rofl:
     
  14. BlueMouse

    BlueMouse 2020 World Champions Staff Member Administrator

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    I can't agree with you. Signing him was the wright thing to do.
     
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  15. doyerfan

    doyerfan MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    yeah, we didn't have a long man who can also be a nice wright handed middle reliever.
     
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  16. LASports96

    LASports96 DSP Legend

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    Wright now I'm regretting it.
     
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  17. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    you gotta fight... for you wright... to party
     
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  18. back2back x 2 + 1

    back2back x 2 + 1 DSP Legend Damned

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    Wright power!
     
  19. Bluezoo

    Bluezoo Among the Pantheon

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    Wow...was it he and his brother that first flew in Kittyhawk, NC ?
    Guy is still in great shape...appearance-wise anyway.
    Can he still reach the catcher?
     
  20. Bluezoo

    Bluezoo Among the Pantheon

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    trying to keep up with the Joneses."


    Who are the Joneses?[/quote]

    I think he meant Andruw and Jughead.
     
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