Feb 28, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly (left) and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt during a bullpen session during a workout at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Dodgers' Ted Lilly To Open Season On Disabled List

Lilly was originally scheduled to pitch on Tuesday, March 27 against the San Diego Padres.

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Freeway Series 2012: Dodgers, Angels Resume Annual Exhibition Battle In Anaheim

The Angels are 13-2-3 against the Dodgers in Freeway Series games since 2004.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Nathan Eovaldi Wins Top Rookie Award

The Jim and Dearie Mulvey award, annually awarded to the Dodgers top rookie in Spring Training, was given to Nathan Eovaldi today after the Dodgers’ final game of Spring Training in Arizona. The right handed pitcher drafted out of Alvin High School in Alvin, Texas back in 2008 made his Dodger debut August 6, 2011. Josh Lindblom won the award in 2010.

Eovaldi, or Captain Eo in some circles, made five appearances this spring: four starts and one save opportunity. He pitched just over fifteen innings and had a 1.72 earned run average over that stretch only giving up three runs. Giving up 14 hits and 4 walks, he finished the spring with a WHIP (walks+hits/innings pitched) of 1.15.

His six strikeouts fall well short of his teammates pitching a similar number of innings, but opponents only hit .233 against him. A ground ball pitcher, he’s more likely to get the double play than strike out the side.

The Dodgers are done in Arizona, and now return to Los Angeles for a three game Freeway Series against the Angels. The first game is in Anaheim tomorrow, then the final two are in Arizona.

Notes:
Chad Billingsly made his final start of Spring Training, and continued to struggle. He lasted just three innings, throwing 70 pitches.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Cactus League Schedule Ends, Freeway Series Awaits

The Los Angeles Dodgers end their Cactus League slate this weekend with a pair of games against the Arizona Diamondbacks. After that, they head back to Southern California to play their annual Freeway Series against the Angels, starting Monday in Anaheim. Here is a look at the scheduled heading into the final few days of spring training for the Dodgers:

Saturday - Dodgers at Arizona (1:10 p.m.): The Dodgers make their second trip this spring to the gorgeous Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, in the first of two straight meetings with their division rivals. Clayton Kershaw will make his final start of the spring, though it is expected to be a light tuneup heading into his Thursday start at Petco Park in San Diego on opening day.

Sunday - Arizona at Dodgers (1:05 p.m.): Chad Billingsley starts for the Dodgers, but expect a ton of minor leaguers on the final day of camp, with many regulars making their way home, either driving or flying.

Monday - Dodgers at Angels (7:05 p.m.): This would have been Ted Lilly's start, but he will open the season on the disabled list as he builds up arm strength from missing time with a stiff neck. Nathan Eovaldi gets the call here in Anaheim.

Tuesday - Angels at Dodgers (7:10 p.m.): Aaron Harang starts for the Dodgers

Wednesday - Angels at Dodgers (12:10 p.m.): This will be another day for rookies, as the Dodgers regulars will likely be resting or playing a few amount of innings in anticipation of Thursday's opener.

For more news and notes on Dodgers baseball, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Ted Lilly Will Begin Season On Disabled List

The starting rotation of the Los Angeles Dodgers will undergo a bit of a shuffle during the first week of the season, as Ted Lilly will begin the year on the disabled list. The southpaw has missed two spring starts with a stiff neck and even though he threw a bullpen session on Friday, Lilly is simply too far behind to be ready to pitch the first time through the rotation.

"We just don't feel like he's going to be ready," said manager Don Mattingly. "If it was an emergency or something and we had to push to get him ready for this start, he could take the ball. But that's not really what we want for his first start."

Chris Capuano will step into Lilly's third starter role and start on April 7 at Petco Park against the San Diego Padres, then will pitch five days later at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have an off day on April 9 which allows them to skip their fifth starter once.

Lilly will throw a simulated game on April 2, then pitch a rehab game on April 8 with the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. If all goes well, he will step into the rotation on April 14 at Dodger Stadium against the San Diego Padres. If Lilly is unable to go, Nathan Eovaldi will likely make that start.

The move allows the Dodgers to carry an extra relief pitcher for the first eight games of the season, with Josh Lindblom and Scott Rice vying for that final spot. Lindblom has options, and Rice would need to be added to the 40-man roster, but Rice also throws left-handed, potentially giving Mattingly a second southpaw in his bullpen should he so choose.

For more news and notes on Dodgers baseball, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Jamey Wright Earns Bullpen Spot

The race for the final spot in the bullpen for the Los Angeles Dodgers has been all but officially decided. Jamey Wright beat out fellow non-roster invitee John Grabow for the role. Wright was told on Monday by Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti that the paperwork was being drawn up to add Wright to the 40-man roster, which will require another roster move.

Grabow, who struck out seven and walked just one in his six scoreless innings in the spring, exercised the opt-out clause in his contract to become a free agent, in hopes of making another team with a little over a week left before opening day.

The departure of Grabow leaves 40 players in major league camp for the Dodgers, including 18 pitchers and 22 position players.

Wright, 37, has had quite a journey in his parts of 16 years in the big leagues. He began his career as a starter but has switched to relief over the last four years. But his last seven years have had one common theme: Wright has made a major league team, six in all, after signing a minor league contract with an non-roster invitation to spring training:

"I think there was only one game I gave up a run the last two months of the season, so I felt great," said Wright. "I finished the year strong and pitched as well as I ever have. In my mind I don't feel like a non-roster guy. I feel like a guy who is going to be a big part of this team."

For more news and notes on Dodgers baseball, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Ted Lilly Scratched From Tuesday Start With Neck Stiffness

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly is feeling better, but his stiff neck will keep him from making his scheduled start on Tuesday against the San Diego Padres. Lilly, who missed a scheduled bullpen session and two days of workouts after complaining of neck stiffness and an inability to fully turn his head, returned to workouts and light throwing Monday morning.

Depending on how Lilly progresses, his availability for the start of the regular season could be in question. Manager Don Mattingly said he will wait a few days before deciding what to do with his left-hander.

"He feels a little better today, but he's still not where he wants to be," Mattingly said.

Mattingly said he would make a decision by Friday, depending on Lilly's health, about when he would pitch next. Lilly is the scheduled third starter of the regular season, but with an off day on April 9, after four regular season games, the Dodgers have some maneuverability should they choose to juggle the rotation or possibly skip a Lilly start.

But that will mostly depend on how Lilly progresses over the next few days.

For more news and notes on Dodgers baseball, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012, Cactus League Schedule (Weekly Schedule Preview)

The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a relatively injury-free spring training so far, but the final week of Cactus League play could pose some problems for the blue crew. Ted Lilly is battling neck stiffness, which already caused the southpaw to miss a bullpen session, and might be skipped in his next start on Tuesday. There is even a possibility that Lilly could be unavailable for the first week of the regular season, but we will know more early this week.

Here is a look ahead at the final week of the Cactus League schedule for the Dodgers, who return home for three games against the Angels in the Freeway Series after Sunday. All games this week are scheduled 1:05 p.m. PST starts.

Monday - Chicago White Sox at Dodgers (Camelback Ranch): Chad Billingsley makes his fifth spring start, and third against the White Sox.

Tuesday - Dodgers at San Diego Padres (Peoria): if Ted Lilly is unable to go, this game will be pitched by relievers and some prospects from minor league camp.

Wednesday - Dodgers at San Francisco Giants (Scottsdale): Aaron Harang makes his fifth spring start.

Thursday: - Chicago White Sox at Dodgers (Camelback Ranch): This could either be Chris Capuano, slated to be the Dodgers fifth starter if everyone was healthy, or Nathan Eovaldi, the number six starter. Or Eovaldi could pitch on...

Friday - Milwaukee Brewers at Dodgers (ss) (Camelback Ranch); Dodgers (ss) at Chicago Cubs (Mesa): A lot of minor leaguers could see action on the mound for the Dodgers on Friday.

Saturday: Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks (Scottsdale): Clayton Kershaw makes his final spring tuneup before his April 5 opening day start.

Sunday: Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodgers (Camelback Ranch): Chad Billingsley get the call in the Cactus League finale.

For more news and notes on Dodgers baseball, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Clayton Kershaw, Adam Kennedy, Ted Lilly Roster Notes

Clayton Kershaw made his penultimate start of the spring on Sunday, as the Los Angeles Dodgers lost the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 at Maryvale Park in Phoenix. Kershaw pitched six innings, the longest outing of the spring by a Dodgers pitcher, and allowed two runs.

"Physically this is the best I have felt. I feel great, and am getting ready to go," said Kershaw, who will pitch on March 31 against Arizona in his final tuneup for his April 5 opening day start against the San Diego Padres.

The Dodgers middle infield is starting to pile up the injuries, though most seem minor. Jerry Hairston, the primary backup at both shortstop and third base, was examined on Saturday and given anti-inflammatory medication for a balky right shoulder that has contributed to his five throwing errors this spring, but he was back in the lineup on Sunday and had two hits.

Adam Kennedy landed awkwardly on second base while recording a force out in the first inning and left the game three innings later as a precaution. Kennedy was diagnosed with a slight right groin pull and is listed as day-to-day. Justin Sellers, who is vying for the final bench spot as a utility man, missed his second straight day with a skin rash, but is due back on Monday. All three injuries are deemed minor and aren't expected to affect any decisions regarding the opening day roster, at least for now.

Ted Lilly missed a second straight day of workouts with a stiff neck, and is questionable to make his scheduled start on Tuesday against the Padres. It is unclear whether or not this will affect Lilly's availability to open the season. The Dodgers have an off day on April 9 and have the opportunity to skip a starter if needed.

The Dodgers battle the White Sox on Monday at Camelback Ranch, with Chad Billingsley facing John Danks.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Jerry Hairston Jr., Chris Capuano, Roster Moves

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been relatively injury free this spring, which would make the latest news on Jerry Hairston Jr. their most pressing malady of the Cactus League so far. Hairston visited team phyiscian Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Saturday and was diagnosed with right shoulder inflammation, which has contributed to his five throwing errors in just 40 innings in the field this spring.

Hairston was given anti-inflammatory medication and is considered day-to-day, though the utliity man said on Saturday that he feels he could play as soon as Sunday.

The Dodgers beat the Cleveland Indians 5-4 on Saturday, with fifth starter Chris Capuano allowing two runs on five innings in his fourth Cactus League start. "Changeup was better today. It bailed me out of a couple of 3-2 scenarios today," Capuano said.

After the game, the Dodgers reassigned a trio of pitchers to minor league camp, as Angel Guzman, Wil Ledezma, and Fernando Nieve were cut. There are 41 players remaining in major league camp for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers head to Maryvale on Sunday to battle the Milwaukee Brewers.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Clayton Kershaw Lining Up For Opening Day Start

Los Angeles Dodgers ace starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw is lined up to start both opening day on April 5 in San Diego and the Dodgers home opener on April 10 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In preparation for his season-opening start, Kershaw's final two starts of the Cactus League have been scheduled.

Kershaw will get an extra day of rest twice, both before his start on Sunday, March 25 at Maryvale against the Milwaukee Brewers and on Saturday, March 31 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The start next Saturday will be a light one for Kershaw, said manager Don Mattingly. Kershaw threw 39 pitches in 3 1/3 innings in his final spring start of 2011, five days prior to making his opening day start last season.

In a coincidence, Kershaw will end up making no spring starts at Camelback Ranch, the Dodgers' home facility.

Zach Lee, whom the Dodgers hope will someday join Kershaw in the big league starting rotation, was one of seven young pitching prospects who pitched for the Dodgers on Friday in Tucson. Lee, the Dodgers' first round pick in the 2010 draft, pitched a scoreless inning while striking out a batter. Lee passed up a chance to play quarterback at LSU and received a $5.25 million signing bonus from the Dodgers.

"I pictured myself doing both [baseball and football]. As kids we're all ambitious and trying to do more than we really can," Lee said on Friday. "Growing up I thought let's just see where we can go with both sports. Once I got to a certain age, I realized I would have to pick one sport over the other."

Lee, 20, will likely start his season at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Andre Ethier Homers In 7-6 Win

The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 on Tuesday afternoon at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Andre Ethier continued his torrid spring training with a two-run home run off Marco Estrada in the fifth inning. Ethier this spring has 10 extra-base hits in 11 games, with six doubles, two triples, and two home runs, all while hitting .440.

"Right now he looks like himself, and like he did a couple of years ago," Mattingly said of Ethier. "He's one of the best hitters in the league when he's going right."

Chad Billingsley struggled early, and allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings, two runs coming on a wind-aided pop fly home run by Brooks Conrad in the second inning. "I was executing pitches and just missed with some of them," Billingsley said.

Notes

  • Dee Gordon tripled and doubled in the first two innings and had three hits on the day. "He's getting a good feel of when to take, when not to take, and when to be aggressive. He's going to keep getting better," said manager Don Mattingly.
  • Infielder Ivan De Jesus has a tear in his left oblique, MRI results showed. He hurt himself while swinging during an at-bat on Saturday night against the San Francisco Giants.
  • Matt Guerrier threw his first bullpen session in over a week on Tuesday, throwing 25-30 pitches. "I wasn't too worried. I just wanted to keep throwing," said Guerrier.
  • Ryan Braun was in the starting lineup for the Brewers but was a late scratch with groin tightness.
  • The Dodgers face the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, with Ted Lilly facing Tim Stauffer at Camelback Ranch.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Clayton Kershaw Sharp In Loss To Cleveland Indians

Clayton Kershaw continued gearing up for his opening day start for the Los Angeles Dodgers with another effective Cactus League outing on Monday afternoon against the Cleveland Indians. Kershaw allowed just one run in his 5 1/3 innings, with two walks and five strikeouts in the Dodgers' 4-3 loss to the Indians.

"The first two or three innings, I was pretty erratic. I got in a little better rhythm toward the end there. I was missing with too many fastballs and getting behind too many hitters," said Kershaw, who turned 24 years old on Monday. "I battled okay today, and felt good the last couple of innings."

Kershaw allowed a run in the first, then nothing else the rest of the way, throwing 78 pitches in his third Cactus League outing. Kershaw is scheduled to pitch opening day for the Dodgers on April 5 at Petco Park in San Diego as well as the home opener at Dodger Stadium on April 10 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

So far this spring, Kershaw has allowed one run in 12 1/3 innings, with five walks and 11 strikeouts.

"He's the type of competitor in which he's his own worst critic. I try to limit what I tell him to do out there," catcher Matt Treanor said of the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner. "The biggest part is his mental approach to the game. He wasn't going to let that first inning get to him."

The Dodgers return home to Camelback Ranch on Tuesday to host the Milwaukee Brewers. Chad Billingsley starts for the Dodgers, facing Chris Narveson of Milwaukee.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012 Stats: Clayton Kershaw, Andre Ethier Going Strong

The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached the halfway point of their Cactus League schedule, with two weeks and 16 games in the books. For the most part spring training stats are fairly meaningless, but here is a look at some highlights from the first two weeks of spring games.

Clayton Kershaw has allowed four hits and three waks in his seven scoreless innings over two starts, striking out six. Kershaw starts again on Monday afternoon in Goodyear against the Cleveland Indians.

Andre Ethier has nine hits in 19 at-bats in his nine games played so far this spring, with six doubles, a triple, and a home run. As manager Don Mattingly has said several times this spring, Ethier's swing is locked in right now.

Matt Angle, Josh Fields, Trent Oeltjen, and Cory Sullivan are all tied for the team lead with 12 games played so far this spring.

Non-roster invitee Josh Fields, vying to win the final bench spot, has 10 hits in 23 at-bats (.435) with two doubles and a triple so far this spring.

Chris Capuano has 10 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings this spring, against just two walks.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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2012 Dodgers Spring Training, Cactus League Standings

The Los Angeles Dodgers ended their second full week of spring training games with back-to-back ties at Camelback Ranch. Vin Scully came to town to call two games, and the Saturday night game against the San Francisco Giants ended in a 3-3 tie, followed by the Sunday game with the Angels being stopped after five and half innings at 1-1 because of rain. Here are the Cactus League standings through Sunday, March 18:

Cactus League Standings
Team Record Pct GB
Oakland 13-4 .765 ---
San Francisco 11-5 .688
Dodgers 8-4 .667
Seattle 11-6 .647 2
Angels 9-6 .600 3
Kansas City 9-7 .563
Colorado 8-7 .533 4
San Diego 8-8 .500
Arizona 7-10 .412 6
Cincinnati 7-10 .412 6
Milwaukee 6-9 .400 6
Cubs 7-11 .389
White Sox 5-10 .333 7
Cleveland 4-10 .286
Texas 4-11 .267 8

Ties are not included.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012, Cactus League Schedule: Clayton Kershaw Starts Twice

For fans who picked this week to visit the Los Angeles Dodgers in spring training in Arizona, they will be rewarded with a pair of starts by Clayton Kershaw. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner opens the week with his third Cactus League start as the Dodgers battle the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear. Here is a look at the weekly schedule ahead for the Dodgers (all games 1:05 p.m. PDT unless otherwise noted):

Monday - Dodgers at Cleveland (MLB Network): This is Kershaw's second start in Goodyear in six days, as he struck out six in four innings against the Cincinnati Reds last Wednesday.

Tuesday - Milwaukee at Dodgers (Prime Ticket): Chad Billingsley makes his fourth Cactus League start.

Wednesday - San Diego at Dodgers (Prime Ticket)

Thursday - off day: The only off day of camp for the Dodgers will be a complete day of rest for the players, coaches...and beat writers.

Friday - Dodgers (split squad) at Kansas City

Friday - Dodgers (split squad) vs. Chicago White Sox at Tucson: Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Tony Gwynn Jr., Juan Rivera, Mark Ellis, A.J. Ellis, Dee Gordon, and Jerry Hairston Jr. are all confirmed to travel to the charity game in Tucson, to benefit the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation.

Saturday - Cleveland at Dodgers (Prime Ticket)

Sunday - Dodgers at Milwaukee (split squad): Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start as the Dodgers make their only trip this spring to Maryvale.

For more Dodgers news and information, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Roster Cuts, Injury News On Matt Guerrier And Jerry Hairston Jr.

Minor league games began for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, which meant several coaches switched over from the major league side of camp to the minor league side, and with that shift came a flurry of roster cuts on Sunday. Eight players were trimmed from the Dodgers roster on Sunday, leaving the club with 45 players remaining in camp.

"It just got to the point where there weren't enough at-bats. More and more guys are wanting more innings," manager Don Mattingly said.

Pitchers Matt Chico, Will Savage, Ryan Tucker, catchers Matt Wallach and Gorman Erickson, and infielders Jeff Baisley and Lance Zawadzki were all reassigned to minor league camp on Sunday, while pitcher Alberto Castillo was given his release.

"We didn't see [Castillo] as that guy for us and we didn't see him being that guy in Triple A waiting around either," Mattingly said. "We felt it was fair to him to get him out on the wire, let people take a look and give him the best chance to be in the big leagues with somebody."

On the field, the Dodgers tied the Angels 1-1 on Sunday in a rain-shortened game. The game was called after five and a half innings. Clayton Kershaw makes his third Cactus League start on Monday at Goodyear against the Cleveland Indians, and is scheduled to throw roughly 80-85 pitches.

Relief pitcher Matt Guerrier has been held out of workouts for about a week while nursing a back injury, but Mattingly said his right-hander is feeling better and close to a return. Guerrier will participate in dry work on Monday, throw a bullpen session on Tuesday, pitch in a minor league game on Friday, and could pitch in a major league spring game next Sunday if all goes according to plan.

Jerry Hairston Jr. was out Friday with a tight quad, and was sent home early Saturday with the flu. Hairston returned to workouts on Sunday, and is expected to play Monday in Goodyear.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Ivan DeJesus Strains Oblique, MRI Monday

Infielder Ivan De Jesus has an outside shot at making the opening day roster for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, though his chances took a hit on Saturday night. DeJesus left the game against the San Francisco Giants in the middle of his at-bat in the bottom of the seventh inning after hurting himself on a swing.

DeJesus suffered a strained left oblique, which will keep him out for a few days. Manager Don Mattingly said the injury didn't seem too bad, though the team will know more after DeJesus has an MRI exam on Monday.

DeJesus was one of the Dodgers' top prospects prior to 2009, when he suffered a broken leg in a B game in spring training at Camelback Ranch which knocked him out for nearly all season. He finally made his major league debut last season, but in each of the past two seasons DeJesus did not get a September callup and has had attitude problems.

Now 25, DeJesus is in a four-man race vying for the final bench spot, along with Jerry Sands, Josh Fields, and Justin Sellers. He will need to get healthy and back on the field to improve his chances.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Chad Billingsley Sharp In Loss To Royals

Chad Billingsley allowed one run in his 3 2/3 innings in his third Cactus League start on Thursday afternoon as the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Kansas City Royals 8-5 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Billingsley threw 62 pitches in the outing, his longest of the spring, and was pleased with his progression.

Billingsley said he had improved fastball command, a sentiment echoed after the game by manager Don Mattingly. Billingsley struggled in the first with 27 pitches and two walks, though one of the walks came on a borderline 3-2 backdoor cutter that Billingsley, Mattingly, and catcher Matt Treanor seemed to agree should have been a strike.

"I had some good battles in the first inning, which are good to have. You have to keep attacking," Billingsley said. He also induced six groundouts, most of which with his changeup. Billingsley allowed one run on four hits, with two walks and a strikeout.

Notes

In the first game of the spring that the Dodgers didn't use a designated hitter, relief pitcher Todd Coffey got the first hit by a Dodgers hurler this season. Coffey is 0-for-7 in his major league career. "I even got DH'd for in high school," Coffey said after the game.

Shortstop and leadoff hitter Dee Gordon walked in the first inning, then stole second without a pitch as both Royals middle infielders had their backs turned and weren't paying attention. Gordon later scored that inning on a balk.

First baseman James Loney was held out of the lineup for the third straight day with calf tightness, but he returned to the practice fields Thursday morning for workouts. Loney is expected back in the lineup on Friday against the Texas Rangers.

Ted Lilly makes his third Cactus League start of the season on Friday against Texas.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Chris Withrow, Alex Castellanos Among First Roster Cuts

One night after Clayton Kershaw looked in midseason form by striking out six in four scoreless innings at Goodyear Ballpark against the Cincinnati Reds, the Los Angeles Dodgers trimmed their roster on Thursday morning, cutting nine players from major league camp.

Outfielders Scott Van Slyke and Alfredo Silverio, second baseman and outfielder Alex Castellanos, and pitchers Michael Antonini, Stephen Fife, Josh Wall, and Chris Withrow were optioned to minor league camp, while third baseman and outfielder Russ Mitchell and pitcher Shane Lindsay, both non-roster invitees to camp, were assigned to the minor league side.

March 15 was the date by which players on the 40-man roster needed to be optioned to avoid having a certain percentage of their salary guaranteed, and the ones sent down had no realistic shot at making the club. Asked if he thought the players in question saw these moves coming, manager Don Mattingly said, "You never know what guys think. When I played I didn't realize there was a date there."

There are 53 players remaining in big league camp for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers host the Kansas City Royals at Camelback Ranch on Thursday afternoon, with Chad Billingsley facing Danny Duffy on the mound. The Dodgers announced on Thursday that their home games on Saturday night against the San Francisco Giants and Sunday afternoon against the Angels have sold out.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Spring Training 2012: Juan Rivera, Dodgers Top Angels, Jered Weaver 9-1

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels hooked up for the first time this spring on Monday afternoon, and the ones from Los Angeles got the best of the ones from Anaheim as the Dodgers beat the Angels 9-1 at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Juan Rivera had a home run and a double, driving in four runs in the victory for the Dodgers, who improved to 6-1-2 in Cactus League play. Rivera has three home runs and a double in his last three games, but he insists his swing isn't fully ready yet for regular season play.

"My swing is not 100% right now. I'm trying to get my timing back. I don't care about home runs. I try to make good contact, and look for my pitch," the outfielder said.

Jered Weaver took the loss, allowing three runs in 1 2/3 innings. Weaver didn't allow a run in two innings in his first start last week.

Aaron Harang pitched three innings, allowing one run for the Dodgers in his second Cactus League start. Although Harang uses spring training more to work on his own mechanics than worry about the batters he is facing, he was impressed with new Angel Albert Pujols.

"He's very patient at the plate and has a very good idea of what he wants to do when he's up there," Harang said. "Ultimately you have to be aggressive and go right at him."

The Dodgers return to Camelback Ranch in Glendale on Tuesday to host the Colorado Rockies, while the Angels head north to Salt River Fields in Scottsdale to battle the Arizona Diamondbacks.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA. For more Angels news and analysis, be sure to read Halos Heaven.

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Spring Training 2012 Scores: Dodgers Split Squad Ties Mariners, Comes From Behind To Beat White Sox

The Los Angeles Dodgers played a pair of split squad games on Saturday.

The first game, against the Seattle Mariners, ended after nine innings in a 5-5 tie. The Dodgers took a 5-2 lead into the eighth inning, but Ronald Belisario gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in the bottom of the eighth and Los Angeles was unable to get another run home. The Dodgers had nine hits in the game, including a home run by Matt Treanor. Josh Fields was the only Dodgers batter with more than one hit in the game, picking up two singles and two RBI. James Loney had a double, which was the only extra-base hit for L.A. in the game.

In the nightcap, the Dodgers rallied late, scoring five runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Chicago White Sox, 10-6. Left fielder Cory Sullivan hit a grand slam in the ninth before an out was even recorded. Juan Rivera and Jerry Hairston Jr. also had home runs for the Dodgers in the game. Starter Chad Billingsley was knocked out early, going 2.1 innings and giving up three runs on six hits, although he did manage to strike out three batters and walk just one.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training: Kenley Jansen Sent To Hospital With Irregular Heartbeat

As the Los Angeles Dodgers push forward in their cactus League schedule a bit of bad news came through the clubhouse on Friday after reliever Kenley Jansen was sent to the hospital with a irregular heart bear, according to True Blue LA.

This is the first time Jansen has had a recurrence of these issues, but noted that he had been taking some extra precautions with his health like removing caffeine and fatty foods from his diet, and given his history was only a precaution on the side of the Dodgers.

Fortunately for Jansen and the Dodgers it wasn't anything serious, he was released not long after being admitted, and has been fully cleared to workout with the team once more.

For more news and notes on the Dodgers spring so far, make sure you head voer to True Blue LA, to get in on the action and show off your fanhood.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012, Cactus League Schedule: Clayton Kershaw Highlights Weekend

The Los Angeles Dodgers continue their Cactus League schedule on Friday with Clayton Kershaw making his first spring start against the Texas Rangers in Surprise, Arizona. Kershaw pitched two innings in an intrasquad game last Sunday at Camelback Ranch. Here is a look at the Dodgers' schedule for the upcoming week:

Friday - Dodgers at Rangers (12:05 p.m. PST): Martin Perez pitches for Texas in the Dodgers' second road game of the spring.

Saturday - Dodgers at Seattle (12:05 p.m. PST): Nathan Eovaldi starts for the Dodgers in the first game of a split squad day/night affair.

Saturday - Dodgers at White Sox (6:05 p.m. PST): Chad Billingsley starts the nightcap back at Camelback Ranch

Sunday - Cubs at Dodgers (12:05 p.m. PST): Ted Lilly starts against his former team back at Camelback Ranch

For more news and information on the Dodgers or their Cactus League schedule, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Chris Capuano Shines In Cactus League Debut

If all goes according to plan, Chris Capuano figures to be the fifth starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season. If he pitches like he has so far this spring, the Dodgers starting rotation could be strong. It's still early of course, but there were signs of encouragement in Capuano's Cactus League debut on Thursday afternoon in a 7-2 Dodgers win over the Oakland Athletics.

Capuano pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out three of the eight men he faced. This follows up a strong performance last Sunday in an intrasquad game in which Capuano struck out two in two scoreless innings while not allowing a hit to Dodgers minor leaguers.

"Getting the body used to how rigorous it is to throw to hitters, you don't realize. You can throw 10 bullpens and not be sure, but as soon you throw an inning or two to live hitters, you're body is a little extra sore," Capuano said earlier in the week. This is the first spring he has been fully healthy in some time, after missing all of 2008 and 2009 and part of 2010 while recovering from surgeries. The more distance he has from his Tommy John surgery, the better.

"The last two offseasons have been normal in terms of being able to train as much as I want to with no restrictions," Capuano said. "Really the last two offseasons from the throwing, the lifting, and working out standpoint, have been great, with no issues."

Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers on Friday as they battle the Texas Rangers in Surprise.

For more news and notes on Dodgers spring training, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Manny Ramirez Out For A's With Back Stiffness

The Los Angeles Dodgers headed to eastern Phoenix on Wednesday, all set to battle the Oakland Athletics in their first true road game of their Cactus League schedule. That meant a return engagement with Manny Ramirez, who signed a minor league deal with Oakland.

"I've been watching Manny since he was 18 or 19 years old," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "I've always been amazed at the guy."

The scheduled reunion, however, didn't happen, as Ramirez was a late scratch with back stiffness. Chris Carter took Ramirez's spot in the lineup, batting cleanup as the designated hitter.

Aaron Harang started for the Dodgers, and gave up four straight hits in the first inning for two Oakland runs. Also scheduled to pitch today for the Dodgers are Kenley Jansen, Javy Guerra, Scott Elbert, and Chris Withrow. Shawn Tolleson, the Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year in 2011, is on the minor league side of camp this spring but made the trip to Phoenix and is in uniform for today's game, wearing number 92.

Tyson Ross has pitched two scoreless innings so far for the A's.

For more Dodgers news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Chad Billingsley, Scott Van Slyke Shine In Cactus League Opener

The Los Angeles Dodgers opened their Cactus League schedule on Monday afternoon with a 6-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Starter Chad Billingsley and manager Don Mattingly were on the same page as far as their gameplan was concerned from the mound.

"I thought we attacked the strike zone," said Mattingly.

"Main focus the first time out there was throwing strikes. I told A.J. Ellis to stay on the plate, that I wanted to pound the zone today," said Billingsley, who threw 21 pitches in his two scoreless innings, allowing one hit.

Scott Van Slyke crushed a two-run home run for the Dodgers, the highlight of a five-run sixth inning for the Dodgers that featured four sons of major leaguers collect hits. Tony Gwynn Jr. had a single and a stolen base, Justin Sellers (son of Jeff Sellers) hit a double, Ivan DeJesus Jr. hit a triple, and Van Slyke (son of Andy Van Slyke) homered, all of Nestor Molina, who took the loss (0-1).

Notes

Jerry Sands will start at first base for the Dodgers on Wednesday, in place of James Loney, as the Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants at Camelback Ranch. Sands will start in right field Wednesday in place of Andre Ethier. Jerry Hairston Jr., another son of a major leaguer, will start at designated hitter on Tuesday and at shortstop on Wednesday, in place of Dee Gordon.

Ted Lilly starts on the mound for the Dodgers on Tuesday, against Barry Zito and the Giants.

For more Dodgers news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Chad Billingsley Starts Cactus League Opener Against White Sox, Juan Uribe Sits

The Los Angeles Dodgers open up their Cactus League schedule on Monday afternoon with a "road" contest against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch, the facility they share with Chicago. Chad Billingsley starts the opener for the Dodgers, and is expected to throw two innings.

Nathan Eovaldi is also expected to pitch two innings, and will follow Billingsley on the mound. Also scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers on Monday are Fernando Nieve, Wil Ledezma, Angel Guzman, Ryan Tucker and Scott Rice.

Juan Uribe is expected to be the starting third baseman for the Dodgers this season, though he is not in the lineup for their first spring game. The rest of the lineup is filled with the expected regulars. Here is the Dodgers' lineup for Monday:

Dee Gordon SS
Mark Ellis 2B
Matt Kemp CF
Andre Ethier RF
Juan Rivera LF
James Loney 1B
Adam Kennedy 3B
A.J. Ellis C
Tony Gwynn Jr. DH

For more Dodgers news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 Dodgers Spring Training: Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano Pitch Intrasquad Game On Eve Of Cactus League Opener

On the eve of their Cactus League opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers held a four-inning intrasquad game on Sunday on one of the minor league fields at their spring training complex at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Starting pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Chris Capuano each got two innings of work in against minor league hitters, many of whom just arrived in camp this weekend who haven't even had live batting practice yet.

The results were predictable, as Kershaw cut through his foes like a hot knife through butter. The southpaw threw 25 pitches in his two innings, striking out five of the seven batters he faced. Shortstop prospect Jake Lemmerman got the only hit off Kershaw, a little dribbler to second base.

Capuano struck out two in his two innings, allowing only one batter to reach base via error. The 33-year old left-hander, who signed a two-year contract with the Dodgers this winter, is prepared for the consequences of facing live opponents for the first time.

"Getting the body used to how rigorous it is to throw to hitters, you don't realize," said Capuano on Sunday. "You can throw 10 bullpens and not be sure, but as soon you throw an inning or two to live hitters, you're body is a little extra sore."

Capuano is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Thursday afternoon against the Oakland Athletics at Camelback Ranch, while Kershaw is scheduled to start Friday against the Texas Rangers in Surprise, Arizona.

Chad Billingsley will start the Cactus League opener for the Dodgers on Monday, a designated road game against the Chicago White Sox, their co-tenants at Camelback Ranch. Scheduled to pitch after Billingsley for the Dodgers is Nathan Eovaldi, Wil Ledezma, Angel Guzman, Ryan Tucker, and Scott Rice. Both Billingsley and Eovaldi will likely pitch two innings each.

Philip Humber starts on Monday for the White Sox.

For more Dodgers news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Clayton Kershaw To Start Home Opener April 10

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly confirmed on Saturday what had been hinted at but not yet formally announced, that Clayton Kershaw will also start the Dodgers' home opener on April 10 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, in addition to starting opening day on April 5 at Petco Park against the San Diego Padres.

If all goes according to plan, Kershaw will be the first Dodgers pitcher to start both opening day and the home opener since Tim Belcher in 1989. Orel Hershiser was the reigning Cy Young Award winner in 1989, like Kershaw this year, but had the flu in the final week of spring training and had his scheduled opening day start pushed back a few days, opening the door for Belcher.

Notes

Dodgers' outfield prospect Alfredo Silverio is still suffering from concussion symptoms six weeks after getting into a car accident on January 23 in the Dominican Republic. In addition to the concussion, Silverio also suffered injuries to his back, shoulder, elbow, and neck in the crash. There is no timetable for his return to baseball activities.

Mattingly likes what he sees in starting pitcher Chris Capuano, who signed a two-year contract with the Dodgers as a free agent this winter.

"This guy is extremely competitive, he's in great shape, and he really came on last year. We felt like late in the year he was throwing the ball well," Mattingly said of Capuano. "Sometimes with Tommy John, it takes a little bit of time to get your stuff back. He's always had good stuff. As much as anything, he knows how to pitch. He keeps you in a game, and that's really what we're asking him to do."

The Dodgers will have an eight-inning intrasquad game on Sunday, with four pitchers scheduled to pitch two innings each: Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, Stephen Fife, and Will Savage.

For more Dodgers news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Sandy Koufax Visits Camp, Talks Clayton Kershaw

The Los Angeles Dodgers had the honor of having two great left-handed pitchers in their presence on Friday afternoon at their spring training facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. One was Clayton Kershaw, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, ace of the current Dodgers pitching staff. The other was legendary Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who stopped by camp to say hello to his former team.

Koufax, who has rarely spoken in public for the better part of the last four decades, sat down for a few minutes with reporters on Friday. Of the current Dodgers ownership situation, in which Frank McCourt is holding an auction to sell the team by April 30, Koufax said, "You're sad to see it going through this kind of change. Change is inevitable, but this is not the normal way it happens."

Koufax-kershaw-honeycutt-soohoo_medium
Sandy Koufax talks with Clayton Kershaw and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt
Photo: Jon SooHoo / LA Dodgers

Asked if Kershaw had a ceiling, Koufax was full of praise. "No. How do you make up a ceiling? His only ceiling is time," Koufax said. "How long he will play, you don't know. But as far as talent is concerned, no."

Notes

The Dodgers signed pitcher Blake Johnson and shosrtstop Brandon Mims on Friday to minor league contracts. Johnson and Mims were two of 125 players who took part in the Dodgers' open tryout on Thursday at Camelback Ranch.

The Dodgers agreed to terms with all remaining players on their 40-man roster with between zero and three years of service time, 24 in all.

For more Dodgers news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012, Cactus League Schedule Opens Monday At Camelback Ranch

Friday marks day number 11 in camp for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the fourth day of full squad workouts at their spring training facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. The Dodgers have three more days of workouts remaining before opening their Cactus League schedule on Monday with a "road" game against their Camelback Ranch co-tenants, the Chicago White Sox.

The Dodgers will also hold a pseudo intrasquad game on Sunday in order to get Clayton Kershaw two innings under his belt while remaining on schedule for both opening day on April 5 and for an awards ceremony in Los Angeles on March 15. Kershaw will make his Cactus League debut on March 9 against the Texas Rangers. Chad Billingsley starts the opener on Monday for the Dodgers. Here is the Dodgers' schedule for the opening week of Cactus League play (all times PST):

  • Monday: at White Sox (12:05 p.m.)
  • Tuesday: vs.Giants (12:05 p.m., Prime Ticket, MLBtv, MLB Network on delay)
  • Wednesday: at Oakland (12:05 p.m.)
  • Thursday: vs.Oakland (12:05 p.m., Prime Ticket, MLBtv, MLB Network on delay)
  • Friday: at Texas (12:05 p.m.)
  • Saturday: split squad, at Seattle (12:05 p.m.), at White Sox (6:05 p.m.)
  • Sunday: vs. Cubs (12:05 p.m., Prime Ticket, MLBtv, MLB Network on delay)

For more Dodgers news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, Tryout Camp

Day 10 at Los Angeles Dodgers spring training camp at Camelback Ranch saw a relatively healthy camp, with all 62 players in big league camp participating in workouts. On the third full squad workout of camp, Kenley Jansen, Javy Guerra, among others all threw live batting practice on Wednesday.

Clayton Kershaw will throw two innings in a sort of hybrid intrasquad game / simulated game on Sunday, March 4. The game will feature minor leaguers, and will also likely have Chris Capuano and Stephen Fife pitch.

The Dodgers had a team record 125 people attend their open tryout Wednesday at Camelback Ranch, and reportedly signed at least one player. The signing will be announced on Friday. Left-handed starting pitcher Doug Davis was among the players who tried out for the camp.

Manager Don Mattingly said starting pitcher Ted Lilly threw 10 times off a mound on his own prior to reporting to camp. Lilly hopes for a better start to his season than in 2011, and to pitch more like he did during the final two months, when he put up a 2.09 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 69 innings over his final 11 starts.

For more on the Dodgers, head on over to True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training Notes: Andre Ethier, Juan Uribe, Aaron Harang

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday held their first full squad workout of spring training, with 61 of 62 players in camp taking part in a workout at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. The only one who didn't participate was third baseman Juan Uribe, who was in San Francisco dealing with a legal battle stemming from his former landlord while he was with the Giants.

Uribe will be back in camp on Wednesday after settling his case in San Francisco Superior Court. Uribe was being sued for $145,000 by his former landlord, who said Uribe was at fault for a kitchen fire at his former residence.

Outfielder Andre Ethier briefly went back into the trainer's room at the beginning of the workout after feeling something in his upper middle back during stretching. But Ethier returned to the field quickly after working with trainer Sue Falsone.

"He felt something when he was stretching and he went in with Sue, but came back out to hit and did outfield work," manager Don Mattingly said after the workout on Tuesday, adding that it wasn't anything serious. Otherwise, Ethier wouldn't have come out again at all, Mattingly said.

Starting pitcher Aaron Harang, who will start on Wednesday, March 7 for the Dodgers, was held out of running drills on Tuesday as he is dealing with a slight foot injury. He will still be able to throw his scheduled bullpen session on Wednesday.

For more on the Dodgers, head on over to True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Chad Billingsley To Start Cactus League Opener

Manager Don Mattingly on Tuesday revealed the order of his spring training starting rotation, naming Chad Billingsley the starter for their March 5 Cactus League opener against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. The remainder of the Los Angeles Dodgers' starting rotation will be, in order, Ted Lilly, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, and Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw is the club's regular season opening day starter, and the club set his spring schedule to plan for him starting on April 5 in San Diego. In addition, Kershaw will fly to Los Angeles on March 15 to accept the Los Angeles Sportsman of the Year award from the L.A. Sports Council. His first two spring starts will be Friday, March 9 in Surprise against the Texas Rangers and Wednesday, March 14 against the Cincinnati Reds in Goodyear.

Kershaw will pitch a simulated game on Sunday, March 4 as well.

For more on the Dodgers, head on over to True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Matt Kemp 'Sets The Tone' For Dodgers

The batting order for the 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers hasn't yet been finalized by manager Don Mattingly, but two things that are certain are that shortstop Dee Gordon will lead off, and that center fielder Matt Kemp will hit third. Monday was the day for position players to report to Dodgers camp at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, but almost everyone had been in camp for at least a few days prior to Monday, including Kemp.

It's time to play follow the leader.

"Last year not only did he put up great numbers, he played hard every day. I can't remember a stretch of time where he was tailing off. It takes a lot to lead," general manager Ned Colletti said of Kemp. "It takes a lot of dedication and a consistent performance in what you do. I see him getting more comfortable in that role."

Kemp hit .324/.399/.586 with 39 home runs and 40 stolen bases in 2011, and finished second to Ryan Braun in National League Most Valuable Player balloting. Manager Don Mattingly knows Kemp is a pillar of his lineup, but is realistic in his goals for 2012.

"It's hard to expect guys to play at that level," said Mattingly. "To expect Matt to win the triple crown, that's not fair."

Mattingly said his center fielder is a team leader, noting, "Matt sets the tone. When he's playing hard, busting his butt, getting down the line, everybody else has no excuse not to work as hard."

For more on Kemp and the Dodgers, head on over to True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Dee Gordon Leading Off, Clayton Kershaw Throws Bullpen Session

On the fifth day of Los Angeles Dodgers spring training camp at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, manager Don Mattingly talked about the top, as in the two men at the top of his batting order and starting pitching rotation, respectively.

Mattingly spoke highly of Dee Gordon, who is entering his second year but will assume the role of leadoff hitter and sparkplug of an offense that struggled for most of 2011. Gordon hit .302/.325/.362 with 24 stolen bases in 56 games last year, and his manager sees Gordon making big strides.

"We really just think he's going to get better and better. This kid can hit. Obviously we want him to walk a little bit and be able to work a pitcher, and we saw him able to do that a little better as the season went on," said Mattingly on Sunday. "He came back the second time, off that injury, he was a little more patient, understanding when to take a pitch and when to be more aggressive. As he knows the pitchers a little better, we are going to see a guy who grows."

Clayton Kershaw, meanwhile was battling minor tightness in his back and skipped his first scheduled bullpen session on Wednesday as a precaution. But on Sunday Kershaw threw his second bullpen session and while he isn't yet quite at full strength, Mattingly isn't worried about the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.


"I don't think [Kerhsaw] is at 100%, so it's still something we'll have to pay attention to. Nobody has really turned him loose to let it go so he's still trying to hold back a little bit," Mattingly said. "But it's not anything that has slowed him down or kept him from throwing at all."

Position players are scheduled to report on Monday for the Dodgers, though nearly everyone is already in camp. Mark Ellis and Justin Sellers are among the few who have yet to report to camp.

For more on the Dodgers, head on over to True Blue LA.

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Spring Training 2012: Dodgers Claim Matt Angle From Baltimore Orioles

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday claimed outfielder Matt Angle from the Baltimore Orioles. Angle, 26, saw his first taste of major league action last year, hitting .177/.293/.266 in 95 plate appearances with 11 stolen bases (in 12 attempts) in 31 games.

Angle hit his first big league home run off of Justin Verlander on September 24. The outfielder hit .271/.347/.344 with 27 steals at Triple A Norfolk last season. Angle has two option years remaining.

To make room for Angle on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers placed pitcher Rubby De La Rosa on the 60-day disabled list. De La Rosa is recovering from Tommy John surgery and not expected back until after the All-Star break.

In another roster move on Thursday, right-handed pitcher Jose Ascanio failed his physical and has left Dodgers camp. He signed a minor league deal and was a non-roster invitee to big league camp.

For more on the Dodgers, head on over to True Blue LA.

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Spring Training 2012: Rubby De La Rosa Feels 'Unbelievable' After Tommy John Surgery

One of the most promising aspects of the 2011 season for the Los Angeles Dodgers was right-handed pitcher Rubby De La Rosa, who began the season in Double A but excelled in the big league starting rotation during the summer. His season was cut short in July by Tommy John surgery, but the pitcher said on Wednesday that his recovery was going better than he had hoped.

"It's unbelievable," De La Rosa said. "I'm ready."

De La Rosa, who was 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 61 innings in 2011, said on Wednesday that he has had no setbacks in his recovery. De La Rosa has spent most of the winter in Arizona, returning home to the Dominican Republic for only one week during the offseason.

As of now, De La Rosa is throwing at what he called an "easy" intensity off flat ground, and won't throw off a mound until April. De La Rosa said that while he was worried about his recovery from surgery that took a tendon from his right wrist to place in his right elbow, but at some point in January he began to gain confidence and now feels better than ever.

In fact, sometimes he feels too good, in that he starts throwing too hard during his pitching sessions, having to be reminded to dial it back a bit. The timetable for De La Rosa to return is shortly after the All-Star break.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Clayton Kershaw Misses Bullpen Session With Back Stiffness

Los Angeles Dodgers workhorse Clayton Kershaw was kept fro his bullpen session Wednesday at Camelback Ranch as a precautionary measure do to some back stiffness, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.

Wednesday was the first workout for pitchers and catchers at the Dodgers training facility, so skipper Don Mattingly wasn't too worried that Kershaw is going to miss a little time:

"He's been around for a while, we know he's young and he's thrown a lot of innings and we won't do anything to jeopardize him."

His first Cactus League start won't be the Dodgers 'opening day' on March 5, but not until March 9 against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium in in Surprise, AZ, so he still has some time to get himself fully ready to go.

Kershaw took home the NL pitching Triple Crown last year (wins, ERA and strikeouts), and finished third in MLB with a career-high 233 1/3 innings pitched. He's still only 23.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Pitchers Jared Lansford, Brent Leach Signed To Minor League Contracts

The Los Angeles Dodgers made a couple of acquisitions on Wednesday in the form of right hander Jared Lansford and lefty Brent Leach, signing both to minor league contracts according to Kevin Goldstein via Twitter.

Lansford, 25, was a second-round pick of the Oakland Athletics back in 2005, posting a 4.54 ERA and 51/28 K/BB ratio in 81 1/3 innings pitched of relief between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento last seaon. He is also the son of former major league third baseman and current Colorado Rockies hitting coach Carney Lansford.

As for Leach, 29, he pitched in Japan last season, struggling his way to a 5.95 ERA in only eight starts with the Yokohama BayStars. The lefty also had a 5.75 ERA and 19/12 K/BB ratio in 20 1/3 innings pitched with the Dodgers back in 2009. Both Leach and Lansford are seen as extra depth down on the farm for the Boys in Blue.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Blake Hakwsworth Will Open Season On Disabled List

Pitchers and catchers for the Los Angeles Dodgers reported to the club's spring training facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona on Tuesday, and for the most part the bullpen is set at six of the seven positions. One candidate for the final bullpen spot was Blake Hawksworth, who is expected to begin the season on the disabled list.

Hawksworth had arthroscopic surgery on January 11 to remove scar tissue in his right elbow, but manager Don Mattingly revealed on Tuesday that Hawksworth had an infection stemming from that surgery that required a second procedure on his elbow in January. As a result Hawksworth, who was expected to be ready to throw by the beginning of spring training per his original rehab plan, is now two to three weeks behind schedule, so by the time he is ready to throw he won't have enough time to get ready for the season.

Starting the season on the disabled list delays a decision for the Dodgers, as Hawksworth is out of options. The right-hander, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals for second baseman Ryan Theriot in November 2010, put up a 4.08 ERA in 49 games for the Dodgers in 2011 with 17 walks and 43 strikeouts in 53 innings. It is a similar situation to that of Ronald Belisario, who must serve a 25-game suspension to start the year, meaning the Dodgers have about a month before deciding whether to keep him on the active roster or expose him to waivers.

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Clayton Kershaw Named Dodgers Opening Day Starter

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly got the least surprising news out of the way first on Tuesday, as pitchers and catchers reported to Dodgers spring training camp at Camelback Ranch. Clayton Kershaw will start on opening day for the Dodgers, at Petco Park in San Diego on April 5.

Mattingly on Tuesday was still in awe of Kershaw's 2011 campaign, in which the southpaw was 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts, but noted that with spring training now here it is time to focus on 2012. "There has been so much talk of Clayton all winter, and rightfully so with the season he had last year, but you might as well drop it in the ocean now, because it's gone. We have to start over," Mattingly said.

When asked how could Kershaw possibly improve on last season, Mattingly said focus and consistency would be the key for his ace. "Can you stay at that level? You have to fight to stay at that level, because as soon as you let your guard down you aren't at that level," Mattingly said.

"It's nice to have something to look forward to," said Kershaw on Tuesday.

Kershaw avoided salary arbitration with a two-year, $19 million contract earlier in February, but said he didn't let the process affect his offseason. "I wasn't worried about [going to arbitration], but at the same time I'm glad it's over with," said Kershaw.

For more on Clayton Kershaw starting opening day for the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Interested In Extending Andre Ethier

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier might be around longer for one more year.

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Dodgers Spring Training 2012 Preview: Not Too Many Spots Up For Grabs

The Los Angeles Dodgers open spring training at their Camelback Ranch facility in Glendale, Arizona on Tuesday, February 21, when pitchers and catchers report to camp. Within a week, the full squad will be in camp and full workouts begin on February 28, roughly one week before Cactus League play begins.

The Dodgers head into camp with essentially 23 of the 25 opening day roster spots accounted for, with one bench spot and one bullpen spot open for spring battles. Here is a look at the roster locks, as we stand on February 16.

Lineup (8)

Dee Gordon SS
James Loney 1B
Matt Kemp CF
Andre Ethier RF
Juan Rivera LF
Juan Uribe 3B
Mark Ellis 2B
A.J. Ellis C

Bench (4)

Jerry Hairston, Jr. IF/OF
Tony Gwynn, Jr. OF
Adam Kennedy IF
Matt Treanor C

Jerry Sands is the intriguing candidate to make the final position player spot on the team, though if Sands makes the team it would likely be as the everyday left fielder, with Juan Rivera moving to a more reserve or platoon role, seeing time at left field, right field, and first base. Other candidates for the final position player spot include infielder Justin Sellers and former power-hitting prospect Josh Fields, now 29 years old.

Starting Pitchers (5)

Clayton Kershaw LHP
Chad Billingsley RHP
Ted Lilly LHP
Chris Capuano LHP
Aaron Harang RHP

Relief Pitchers (6)

Javy Guerra CL
Kenley Jansen RHP
Matt Guerrier RHP
Todd Coffey RHP
Mike MacDougal RHP
Scott Elbert LHP

The competition for the final bullpen spot figures to be between Blake Hawksworth, who is out of options, and Josh Lindblom, among players on the 40-man roster. Non-roster invitees Josh Grabow (LHP) and Jamey Wright (RHP) look like the favorites among those on minor-league deals.

Of course, this is all assuming good health, which even the most optimistic person would scoff at. Last year, the Dodgers had six starting pitchers signed to major league deals, but by March 9 both Vicente Padilla and Jon Garland went down with injuries.

The Dodgers open their Cactus League schedule on Monday, March 5 at Camelback Ranch with a "road" contest against their facility co-tenants, the Chicago White Sox.

For more news and notes on the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 Dodgers, As Currently Constructed, Need Breaks To Win

The Dodgers finished 82-79 in 2011.

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MLB Schedule 2012: Matt Kemp, Dodgers Televised Four Times On Fox Network

The Los Angels Dodgers come into the 2012 season looking to sneak up on the Arizona Diamondbacks and take back the NL West crown for the Boys in Blue. And thanks to the FOX Network's Saturday 'Game of the Week', the nation will get the chance to see the Dodgers televised four times over the course of the season.

Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw and the like will have matchups with some serious rivals on the "Game of the Week' schedule, playing the crosstown Angels on June 23, while facing off with their long time rivals from up north the San Francisco Giants. They'll also have a meeting with the New York Mets at Dodger stadium June 30, and a meeting with the Mariners in Seattle in June 9.

June 9, 2012 (4:00 PM PT) Los Angeles Dodgers at Seattle Mariners

June 23, 2012 (4:00 PM PT) Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

June 30, 2012 (4:00 PM PT) New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers

September 8, 2012 (12:30 PM PT) Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants

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Spring Training 2012: Russ Mitchell Gets Non-Roster Invitation To Los Angeles Dodgers Camp

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Monday night that Russ Mitchell, the longtime minor leaguer who was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Todd Coffey last week, was added to major league camp in spring training at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona as a non-roster invitee.

Mitchell, who has hit .151/.208/.290 with four home runs in 40 games over parts of two seasons with the Dodgers, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple A Albuquerque, where he has played the last two seasons. Mitchell, who turns 27 on Wednesday, was drafted by the Dodgers in the 15th round in 2003 and has spent nine seasons in their minor league system.

The inclusion of Mitchell brings the total number of player in major league camp for the Dodgers to 62, including 33 pitchers. Pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch on Tuesday, February 21 and hold their first workout on February 22. Position players report to Dodgers camp on Monday, February 27 with the first full squad workout on February 28.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Pitchers And Catchers Report On Feb. 21

Spring Training is just a couple of weeks away. Pitchers and catchers for the Los Angeles Dodgers will report to Camelback Ranch in Glendale on February 21 and their first workout will take place on February 22. Position players will report on February 27. Just like that, in a matter of days, there will be baseball once again.

Here are the players who will be reporting on February 21.

ROSTER PLAYERS:

Pitchers:

Michael Antonini LHP
Ronald Belisario RHP
Chad Billingsley RHP
Chris Capuano LHP
Todd Coffey RHP
Rubby De La Rosa RHP
Scott Elbert LHP
Nathan Eovaldi RHP
Stephen Fife RHP
Javy Guerra RHP
Matt Guerrier RHP
Aaron Harang RHP
Blake Hawksworth RHP
Kenley Jansen RHP
Clayton Kershaw LHP
Ted Lilly lhp RHP
Josh Lindblom RHP
Mike MacDougal RHP
Ramon Troncoso RHP
Josh Wall RHP
Chris Withrow RHP

Catchers:

A.J. Ellis
Tim Federowicz
Matt Treanor

NON-ROSTER INVITEES:

Pitchers:

Jose Ascanio RHP
Alberto Castillo LHP
Matt Chico LHP
John Grabow LHP
Angel Guzman RHP
Wilfredo Ledezma LHP
Shane Lindsay RHP
Fernando Nieve LHP
Scott Rice LHP
Will Savage RHP
Ryan Tucker RHP
Jamey Wright RHP

Catchers:

Josh Bard C
Gorman Erickson C
Matt Wallach C

And here is the rest of the spring training roster that will be reporting a week later:

ROSTER PLAYERS:

Infielders:

Ivan DeJesus Jr.
Mark Ellis
Dee Gordon
Jerry Hairston, Jr.
Adam Kennedy
James Loney
Justin Sellers
Juan Uribe

Outfielders:

Alex Castellanos
Andre Ethier
Tony Gwynn Jr.
Matt Kemp
Trent Oeltjen
Juan Rivera
Jerry Sands
Alfredo Silverio
Scott Van Slyke

NON-ROSTER INVITEES:

Infielders:

Jeff Baisley
Luis Cruz
Josh Fields
Lance Zawadzki

Outfielders:

Cory Sullivan

It is the dawn of a new season and new possibilities. If everything goes well, there may even be a new owner by the time Opening Day rolls around.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.

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Los Angeles Dodgers 2012 Spring Training Broadcast TV Schedule

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced their 2012 spring training broadcast schedule, which includes 18 televised games in high definition. Three of the 18 games to be televised are freeway series games against the Los Angeles Angels back in southern California, and all 15 Cactus League home games at Camelback Ranch will be on TV as well.

Vin Scully will call two games in Arizona, on Saturday, March 17 against the San Francisco Giants on Prime Ticket and Sunday, March 18 against the Angels on KCAL. The remainder of televised games will be called by one of two announcing teams, either Charley Steiner and Rick Monday, or Eric Collins and Steve Lyons.

Here are the 2012 spring training games that will be televised, with all games at 1 p.m. PST on Prime Ticket unless otherwise specified:

  • March 6 vs. San Francisco, 12 p.m. PST
  • March 8 vs. Oakland, 12 p.m. PST
  • March 11 vs. Chicago Cubs, 12 p.m. PST
  • March 13 vs. Colorado
  • March 15 vs. Kansas City
  • March 16 vs. Texas
  • March 17 vs. San Francisco, 7 p.m. PST
  • March 18 vs. Angels (KCAL)
  • March 20 vs. Milwaukee
  • March 21 vs. San Diego
  • March 24 vs. Cleveland (KCAL)
  • March 26. vs. Chicago White Sox
  • March 29 vs. Chicago White Sox
  • March 30 vs. Milwaukee
  • April 1 vs. Arizona
  • April 2 at Angels (in Anaheim), 7 p.m. PST (Fox Sports West, Angels broadcast)
  • April 3 vs. Angels at Dodger Stadium), 7 p.m. PST (KCAL)
  • April 4 vs. Angels at Dodger Stadium), 12 p.m. PST (Fox Sports West, Angels broadcast)

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Jamey Wright Signs Minor-League Contract With Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers added to their spring training pitching staff on Tuesday, signing Jamey Wright to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. The 37-year old right-hander has an out clause in his contract in late March, per Tony Jackson of ESPN LA, meaning if Wright isn't added to the active roster by a specified date he has the right to become a free agent and pursue other opportunities.

Wright was 2-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 60 games in relief in 2011 for the Seattle Mariners, his sixth team in the last seven years. Wright has pitched exclusively in relief during the last four seasons, as his last major league start came on August 25, 2007 while with the Texas Rangers.

The odds of Wright making the opening day roster for the Dodgers are long, as the club has essentially six of the seven spots in the bullpen locked up: closer Javy Guerra, strikeout artist Kenley Jansen, southpaw Scott Elbert, and veterans Matt Guerrier, Mike MacDougal, and Todd Coffey.

The signing of Wright puts the total number of bodies scheduled to begin in big league camp for the Dodgers at 61, including relief pitcher Ronald Belisario, who is currently on the restricted list but has already reported to Arizona. Belisario will have to serve a 25-game suspension for violating MLB's drug policy before he can pitch again in the majors.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 Spring Training: Los Angeles Dodgers Non-Roster Invitees To Camelback Ranch

The Los Angeles Dodgers have invited a group of 19 non-roster players to spring training, which opens in February at Camelback Ranch - Glendale in Phoenix, Arizona. The group includes two Dodgers minor league catchers, Gorman Erickson and Matt Wallach, and 17 others signed to minor-league pacts this winter.

Josh Bard is the other non-roster catcher invited to camp, a 34-year old switch-hitting catcher who hit .210/.256/.333 in 86 plate appearances with the Seattle Mariners last season. Former highly-touted White Sox prospect Josh Fields highlights the infielders signed to minor league deals, and he will be joined by Luis Cruz, Jeff Baisley, and Lance Zawadzki. Former Colorado Rockies outfielder Cory Sullivan was also invited to Dodgers' camp.

There are 11 pitchers invited to Dodgers big league camp, with the left-handers the most likely to earn a spot in the bullpen. Scott Elbert is currently the only left-handed pitcher on the 40-man roster with a secure spot in the bullpen, and if Ned Colletti, Don Mattingly and the staff decide to go with a second southpaw it will likely come from this batch of non-roster invitees. The left-handed pitchers signed to minor league deals include Matt Chico, Alberto Castillo, John Grabow, Wil Ledezma, and Scott Rice.

Right-handed pitchers signed to minor league deals are Jose Ascanio, Angel Guzman, Shane Lindsay, Fernando Nieve, Will Savage, and Ryan Tucker.

That brings the total number of Dodgers to open spring training in big league camp to 59, and that doesn't include relief pitcher Ronald Belisario, who is currently on the restricted list but is expected to report to camp.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Announce 2012 Spring Training Cactus League Schedule

The Dodgers have 30 Cactus League games scheduled for 28 days.

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