The Dodgers are playing their first night game of the exhibition season tonight against the Reds at Goodyear Stadium. Here are some various news and notes from spring training over the last couple of games, with my mood level attached for each tidbit.
Greinke injury update-mood-annoying
Zack Greinke has resumed throwing, and threw his first bullpen session since he first injured his right calf. There is still no timetable for when Greinke will return to game action, but I think he’s getting close. Obviously he doesn’t have enough time to build up enough arm strength to pitch in Australia, (Yes he’ll still fly with the club) which is very annoying, but he should be ready to pitch in the opening states series at San Diego at the end of March. Greinke would need about four or five starts to build up enough arm strength. You have to ask yourself is this strained calf really this serious?
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Stripling must wait to have Tommy John-mood-sad
So as the club announced the other day, pitching prospect Ross Stripling must have Tommy John surgery. This is a huge blow to the Dodger’s farm system. Stripling was so kind and interviewed with our Kenny Shulsen earlier in spring. Not long after that he complained of pain and discomfort in his elbow. After a contrast MRI was performed to determine the severity, the club announced Stripling would need Tommy John. Apparently Stripling suffered the injury throwing batting practice, and kept the discomfort he felt from the club. I know, I know, keeping injuries from the club never works out well for the player, and I still don’t understand why players continue to do this. Stripling then threw an inning in a spring game on February 26, and then finally reported his problem to the club.
But now we hear that Stripling has to have an additional surgery to clean up loose bodies from his damaged elbow. Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday, and Stripling will have to wait a while to heal from that surgery before he can have the Tommy John. What a terrible blow for the youngster. Keep your head up Ross! Many pitchers deal with this kind of injury, and come back better than ever. In about a year and a half, you will feel like you have a brand new arm.
This is not uncommon for young pitchers to go through. Sometimes young pitcher’s arms just can’t take all of the innings put on them. This is why clubs are very cautious with young pitchers early on in their careers. Sometimes it happens.
Stripling was ranked as a top ten Dodger prospect before the injury. The Dodgers drafted him in the fifth round of the 2012 amateur draft.
Brian Wilson throws a Knuckleball?-Mood-Amused
I don’t know what it was, but it was some kind of breaking ball. Wilson started Tuesday afternoon’s game against the Mariners with a floater. No it wasn’t quite like one of those Vicente Padilla soap bubbles as Vin used to call it, but it sure looked like one. Wilson started the game because that was Greinke’s turn in the rotation, so the Dodgers decided to use a bullpen game. Yuck. I’ve never liked bullpen games. Check for yourself below, does this look like a knuckler? Even Wilson himself wasn’t sure what exactly it was.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Dee Gordon at center field?- Mood-Unsure
The Dodgers are trying to turn Dee Gordon into a super utility guy. They’ve been giving him a lot of playing time at second base. He’s looked good there, but the club wants him to play some outfield as well. So for the second time this spring, Gordon will be starting in center field. There is still a lot of bogus talk about the Dodgers sending Alexander Guerrero down to the minors, and using some type of platoon with Gordon, Justin Turner, and a couple of the other bums who can’t hit. You already know how I feel about that. Can everyone wait until more than six or seven games have been played before declaring Guerrero “not ready”? You guys already know how I feel about this subject. A platoon that doesn’t involve Guerrero is not a good idea.
But back to Gordon, can his early spring success translate to the big stage when the games count? That is the question. Gordon has only had three hits this spring, and two of them have been triples. He’ll bat lead-off and play center field tonight.
Dodgers Lineup @ Reds-3-5-14
Dee Gordon CF
Carl Crawford DH
Yasiel Puig RF
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Juan Uribe 3B
Joc Pederson LF
Alexander Guerrero 2B
Tim Federowicz C
Miguel Rojas SS
Hyun-jin Ryu Vs. Homer Bailey
Game Time-6:05 PM T.V.-SportsnetLA