It wasn’t as loud as Hanley Ramirez’s mammoth home run to dead center, accounting for the Dodgers’ only runs in a 2-1 victory over Texas today, but Zach Lee made a nice first impression in his Spring Training starting debut.
Lee allowed two hits in two shutout innings, walking none while striking out one. Bookending Lee was 2013 second-round draft pick Tom Windle, who closed out the final two shutout innings by also allowing two baserunners while striking out one.
Infield candidates Chone Figgins and Brendan Harris had the only other Dodger hits. Dee Gordon had one of five Dodger walks, stole his fifth base in five attempts this spring and made a fine defensive play diving to his right back of second base.
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com has more on Lee:
“I think I’m somewhat like [Greinke], although I don’t think I take it to the extent that he does,” Lee said. “Growing up, and the way I looked at pitching, I was always a cerebral and analytical person. I really thought more about game-planning and what [Greg] Maddux did back in the day, where he was able to pinpoint with location rather than overpower you.”
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Several more fond remembrances of Dr. Frank Jobe emerged today, many of them captured by Sanchez. You also won’t read anything more powerful than what Dodger director of team travel Scott Akasaki or vice president of medical services Stan Conte shared with Kevin Baxter of the Times.
Cliff Corcoran of SI.com shared the five top Tommy John surgery success stories.
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Finally, don’t miss today in Jon SooHoo.
There was a pitch in Thursday’s 4-4 Dodger tie with the Angels that was heading scarily toward the same spot on Hanley Ramirez’s body that turned the 2013 National League Championship Series on its rib.
The good news is that the pitch hit Ramirez’s triceps and that, as predicted by Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, he is playing today.
The bad news is that ballplayers and dreams are still too fragile.
In other news … (more…)
It doesn’t seem possible to appreciate Dr. Frank Jobe’s importance to baseball. You’d be better off trying to take a closeup of Kilimanjaro.
Think of how many innings, how many careers — how much joy — that Jobe’s innovation brought to the world of this sport.
Somehow, Jobe isn’t in the Hall of Fame, although in essence, he reached exponentially beyond the 300-win and 3,000-strikeout plateaus that typically serve as qualifiers.
Jobe died this morning at the age of 88. You can find an obituary from Ken Gurnick at MLB.com. Here’s what I wrote about Jobe and John in 100 Things Dodger Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die: (more…)
By Jon Weisman
I’m pleased to introduce Dodger Insider magazine, the in-depth companion to the Dodger Insider blog.
The first of eight monthly editions in 2014 is on sale now. You can purchase a digital download of a single issue, or subscribe either to the digital (with embedded video links) or print editions.
The print subscription comes with a free 2014 Dodger yearbook which — trust me — you are going to want.
Print editions are also on sale at Camelback Ranch and Dodger Stadium.
As a teaser, we’re presenting “Team on a Mission,” this month’s cover story, online for free. So check that out, but understand that there’s much, much more content in the magazine itself — including great features, news stories, historical pieces, photos and games. The March preseason issue is 72 pages, with next month’s April issue coming in at well over 100.
Get your copy of Dodger Insider today!
Update: Print subscriptions will be available for online order next week, but to order a print subscription by phone today, call (877) BLUE-062.
By Jon Weisman
Second batter of the game, and our baseball world went wild.
Trout hit the ball about 360 feet, ran about 360 feet, and was out after about a 360-degree review.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) March 6, 2014
For what it’s worth, I don’t think much more time, if any, was taken by the replay process than would have been taken by a garden variety argument anyway.
By Jon Weisman
Today’s the first day that the Dodgers will have a chance to test out expanded instant replay with an umpire challenge. Dodger video coordinator John Pratt will be assisting with the replay process.
- Carl Crawford told Kevin Baxter of the Times that he won’t go to Australia if his third child, whose birth could arrive at any time, isn’t born before the trip.
- Zack Greinke threw a 25-pitch bullpen session today and could return to game action next week, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
- Gurnick also visited with Team France manager Eric Gagne for this feature.
- Chris Anderson, the Dodgers’ top draft pick in 2013, will suit up in the Dodger uniform for a game for the first time today.
- The Life magazine website presents some great Dodger photos from Spring Training 1948.
- There will be baseball at Dodger Stadium three weeks from today.
By Cary Osborne
Vin Scully dubbed Yasiel Puig the “Wild Horse.” If Puig is the Wild Horse, Mark McGwire showed in many ways last season that he was the “Horse Whisperer.” It was pretty clear last season that the Dodger hitting coach’s voice had an impact on Yasiel Puig. Cameras constantly showed the two conversing after an at-bat or during a learning situation.
McGwire said the two hit it off in last season’s Spring Training and he immediately identified that Puig (who exited Wednesday’s 10-3 Dodger victory with a sore back but is in today’s starting lineup) has the It factor.
“I was really pushing him to make the ballclub out of Spring Training,” McGwire recalled.
The story eventually played out where Puig got seasoning in Double-A Chattanooga before the pair’s reunion June 3 at Dodger Stadium. The relationship blossomed from there on out, despite a barrier.
“We have had a solid line of communication,” McGwire said. “It was sort of difficult at first because I had to talk through a translator, but he got really good at the end of the year learning English.”
McGwire sees in Puig limitless potential, and thus has been part hitting instructor, part mentor. As far as things he hopes to impart on the Cuban phenom this season, it has more to do with patience than anything else.
“I think the big thing is he’s a free swinger,” McGwire said. “To me when he first came up, guys were challenging him. Later on, when everybody stopped challenging him and they were throwing him balls, he sort of fed into what they were doing to him. For me, it’s to get the point across that you can help us out even more by taking walks and understanding when pitchers are not giving you anything to hit.”
In the first week of February, Don Mattingly floated the idea of Puig being the Dodgers’ leadoff hitter. Back in January, when McGwire spoke to Dodger Insider, he mentioned the same thing. Puig, McGwire said, has the qualities of being a special one. After all, the Dodger hitting coach played with a pretty darn good one in Oakland.
“He’s a perfect leadoff hitter,” McGwire said. “I think he could be a devastating leadoff hitter, and I got to play with one of the best, if not the best in Rickey Henderson.
“Rickey Henderson could pretty much do everything (at the plate), but when he gets on the bases he creates havoc, and that’s something Yasiel can do. But to learn the patience and learn they’re not going to give him something to hit every time at the plate, and if he can work a walk or just put the ball in play with his speed it’s almost a base hit.”
By Jon Weisman
Well, Alex Guerrero slowed a glimpse of his potential here.
By Jon Weisman
I keep risking a jinx, but 60 innings into the exhibition season, the Dodgers haven’t allowed a home run. They’re the only team that hasn’t been taken yard in 2014.
The shot that Joc Pederson flagged down in the video above wouldn’t have been a home run, but it’s about as far as anyone has hit one against Los Angeles so far. Let’s see what happens in the Dodgers’ first night game.
- Scheduled to follow Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound today are Jose Dominguez, Javy Guerra, Matt Magill, Paco Rodriguez and Carlos Frias.
- Ross Stripling had to have arthroscopic surgery today before he can have his Tommy John surgery on a future date. Ken Gurnick has details at MLB.com.
- Zack Greinke threw off a mound today for the first time since injuring his calf February 27, Gurnick reports.
- And to complete a Gurnick hat trick, a nice feature providing some welcome background on Dodger pitching prospect Red Patterson. Check it out.
- Spring Training stats: All-glove, no-hit Miguel Rojas is batting .444 and fielding .895.
- Former Dodger Trent Oeltjen will play for Team Australia in the March 20 exhibition against the Dodgers in Sydney, notes Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.
- Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale are pictured during their 1966 holdout with David Janssen on the set of the movie “Warning Shot” in a post by Scott Harrison at Framework.
- Peter Gammons has a long piece on the 2014 Dodgers at Gammons Daily.
- Eric Gagne is managing the Team France baseball team that began a five-game Cactus League tour with an exhibition game today against Dodger minor leaguers.
- Today in 1961 primary source material on the Dodgers at Ernest Reyes’ Blue Heaven: Gil Hodges.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) March 5, 2014