Pitching updates

Jason Schmidt won’t pitch in a Grapefruit League game until after he pitches in a simulated game on the minor-league side, and Joe Torre said he isn’t sure when that will be. But Jason remains right on track in his rehab, and if he doesn’t suffer any kind of setback (which he hasn’t come close to suffering yet), it’s tough to imagine he won’t be ready to join the rotation by the start of the season. As for spring training, Torre said, “I don’t think it’s when he pitches. It’s more about how he feels.” … Takashi Saito won’t make his Grapefruit debut until March 4, when the Dodgers play a day-night split squad, but he will pitch in a minor-league game on March 1. Closers generally need the least amount of appearances of anybody in spring training because they rarely pitch more than an inning during the season anyway. Eric Gagne used to make about eight Grapefruit appearances and call it good.

Dodgers Idol

This Wednesday and Thursday mornings, anyone who is in their first big-league camp — not just players, but peripheral team personnel, as well — will be forced to participate in Dodgers Idol, a signing competition put together by Mark Sweeney and Nomar Garciaparra and approved by Joe Torre.
“We’re just going to have fun with it,” Sweeney said. “The veteran guys will see a little bit of their personalities. … Hopefully, it will build a comfort level for some of the younger guys, because it can be a little uncomfortable being here when you have never been to big-league camp before.”
Participants also will be asked to don costumes of their own choosing for their performances, which also will consist of songs of their own choosing.
Sweeney said there won’t be an official contest winner, a la American Idol, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be an unofficial one.
“There will be a favorite, I know that,” Sweeney said. “But the most important thing is for everybody to have a good time with it.”