Roster shocker: Kemp makes team, Bigbie doesn’t

It ultimately came down to the fact Kemp was a right-handed hitter and Bigbie wasn’t, and Ned and Grady wanted to balance their heavily left-handed bench. Bigbie has one more day to find a major-league offer and exercise his out clause — something he can do even if he doesn’t find a major-league offer. But if he decides to stay, he’ll go to Las Vegas and be just like any other minor league player not on the 40-man roster. Kemp batted .246 for the spring, but also had four home runs, including a monster shot in Friday night’s win over the Angels, and nine RBI. … In other development, Rafael Furcal WILL start the season on the DL, and because of the backdating, he is eligible to return on Saturday at the Giants. Wilson Valdez thus made the team, at least temporarily. Furcal, Hong-Chih Kuo, Yhency Brazoban and Jason Repko all were placed on the 15-day DL. Repko isn’t on the 60-day yet because the Dodgers didn’t need that 40-man spot for Bigbie. The Dodgers did have one open 40-man spot, and they used it to purchase the contract of Rudy Seanez. And thus, the roster is set.
PITCHERS (11): Beimel, Billingsley, Broxton, Hendrickson, Lowe, Penny, Saito, Schmidt, Seanez, Tomko, Wolf CATCHERS (2): Lieberthal, Martin
INFIELDERS: (7): Anderson, Betemit, Garciaparra, Kent, Martinez, Saenz, Valdez
OUTFIELDERS (5): Clark, Ethier, Gonzalez, Kemp, Pierre
Thirty-seven hours and 37 minutes to first pitch

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Angels 4, Dodgers 2

And with that, spring training is finally, officially over, six weeks and one day after pitchers and catchers reported to Vero. We have been told that the clubhouse won’t open to the media for a few minutes, obviously so Grady and Ned can tell the players who didn’t make that they didn’t make it. I’ll update as soon as all that becomes official. Dodgers finish the spring 17-16-1. Thirty-eight hours and 24 minutes to first pitch.

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Penny done, Tomko in

Brad Penny went five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits while throwing only 71 pitches. Grady had planned on sticking with him for 90 pitches, but my guess is Penny was too efficient with his pitches and Grady needed to get Tomko in for at least three innings. Tomko pitched a scoreless sixth, but gave up a hit and walked a batter. Meanwhile, Brady Clark just beat out an infield single, snapping a string of 10 consecutive Dodgers batters retired. James Loney’s at the plate right now. With final cuts now about an hour or so away, his stomach must be doing gymnastics. He just singled hard up the middle and is now 2 for 4, raising his average to .414. Angels 3, Dodgers 2, top 7

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Packing up early

For the Angels, Gary Matthews, Orlando Cabrera and Vladimir Guerrero already are out of the game. I’m guessing there will be a parade of early exits on both sides in the next couple of innings. Brad Penny is pitching adequately enough that he has yet to give up a run, but he was saved by his defense twice in the third inning. After Matthews doubled with one out, Brady Clark made a diving catch to rob Cabrera of a hit. Guerrero then smoked one to the left side that Wilson Betemit dived into the hole to his left to snare. Betemit got up and threw out Guerrero by a narrow margin. Wilson Valdez and Ramon Martinez, who is out of the game already, have two hits each. Dodgers 2, Angels 0, bottom 4

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Mota grounded by rules technicality

Due to the fact that the commissioner’s office has suddenly decided to start enforcing the limit on uniformed coaches in the dugout during games. longtime Dodgers fixture Manny Mota won’t be on the bench this season. More notably, he won’t be on the road. At home, Mota will dress for batting practice, hit fungoes, work with hitters in the indoor cages, etc. But when game time comes, he’ll put on his regular clothes and head upstairs to the press box. Rules are rules, I suppose. But this is a case where a good, respected man will be kept from making as much of a contribution to the game as he otherwise could. This game could use some decentralized governing, in my humble opinion. But to his credit, Manny, one of the classiest people I have ever met in this game, seems to be taking it all in stride.

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