Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 3

The Dodgers are off tomorrow. … Hiroki Kuroda pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit with two walks and six strikeouts. He now has pitched 8 2/3 innings without allowing a run this spring. With all due respect to Chad Billingsley, who has a stellar ERA (1.29) himself this spring, Kuroda is making an strong (and possibly undeniable) bid to be the Dodgers’ opening-day starter, an assignment that still would line Billingsley up for the home opener. … The Dodgers are off tomorrow. … Tanyon Sturtze, who seemed headed for retirement when the Dodgers released him in August and really was signed this winter to give him one last shot, might have pitched himself into contention for a bullpen spot this spring. He pitched a perfect seventh inning, with one strikeout, and has a 2.70 ERA in four appearances. … Matt Kemp hit his second home run of the spring. Brad Ausmus went 2 for 3 with a double. James Loney went 2 for 2 with two singles. Juan Pierre had a triple. Danny Ardoin doubled in his only at-bat. … Dodgers improve to 7-6 after lighting up Brandon Webb — lighting him up by Brandon Webb standards, anyway — for three runs on four hits over the first three innings. … Did I mention the Dodgers are off tomorrow? See ya Thursday.

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  • Old Brooklyn Fan

    I was happy to see Kuroda’s performance today. He looked great. It doesn’t matter to me who pitches on opening day. But if ego has to play a part, my pick would be Kuroda.
    Billingsley, Wolf and Kershaw look ready to go also.
    And it’s great that Schmidt health has improved enough to be the front runner for the 5th spot.
    It looks like the rest of the pitchers including the bullpen are still a work in progress and let’s hope everything is straightened out by the end of ST.

  • MattD

    Hey Tony,

    Me and a few friends are heading out to Glendale on thursday to see the Dodgers play against S. Korea. Any tips on how we could snag a few autographs?

    Thanks!

    P.S. your blog rocks! it’s a must read for any die hard Dodger fan

  • joshburke2

    Roster Moves?

    Doug Mientkiewicz is gone “Without A Trace” from dodgers.com (NRI roster..even his stats have vanished). Likewise Juan Castro. DAnny Ardoin? Danny Ard-Gone! Eric Stults too!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe Mientkiewicz and Castro got added?

  • phillydodger

    tony
    if DY actually does get released, who would be the PH?

    do you think they will actually open the season with Pierre still on the roster?

    have you seen any of the WBC – esp Pedro Martinez? He looks pretty far ahead of J. Schmidt at this time. Wouldn’t it be worth a shot to pick up Pedro and send Schmidt down to Triple A for a couple of months and go from there? Maybe even Pedro as a situational closer, as Broxton still scares me more than a little bit.

  • Tony Jackson

    To answer your questions:

    Matt D: get there early and be out by the back fields where the boys come out. They usually come out of the clubhouse around 10. Some of them will stop and sign for the fans behind the rope. Joe Torre almost always stops and signs from his golf cart.

    joshburke2: it has to be a system glitch. There have been no roster moves. Nothing has changed, and nothing will change for a couple more weeks except for some minor moves, such as reassigning guys to the minors who never had any chance of making the team anyway.

    phillydodger: Juan Pierre isn’t going anywhere, not with three years and $28.5 million left on his contract. There are no takers. He is here to stay. And truthfully, the Dodgers actually will NEED him at times this year. He’ll get a fair number of at-bats, and I look for him to start at least one or two games a week, sometimes in LF and sometimes in CF. Manny is 36 and will need a day off here and there. Matt Kemp is still a work in progress and will sit against certain pitchers. And Ethier will sit against some tough lefties, meaning Kemp to RF and Pierre to CF.

  • joshburke2

    Thanks Tony,

    but its too late, I already updated my Excel spreadsheet.

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    Tony,

    I don’t seek autographs myself, but from what I’ve observed, the players don’t sign autographs on the way out to the fields, but sign them on the way back after practice is finished.

    I agree that moving Pierre doesn’t appear to be promising, especially given the current state of the economy and the reluctance of teams to spend. The Dodgers would likely have to eat considerably more than half of his contract to make anything happen. However, Pierre’s recent comments in which he stated that he was open to a deferral of salary, could leave the door open for a creative solution.

  • Dave R.

    Tony – re: Matt Kemp, I realize he’s yet to reach his enormous potential, but every day that Pierre is in there over Kemp is a day lost in terms of reaching that potential. I wouldn’t want Kemp playing any less than 150 games.

  • Marcel

    Tony overvaluing Juan Pierre is SO 2008.

  • El Lay Dave

    You have to go back to 2005 (when Manny was 33) to find a time he played more than 123 games in the field. He’ll be 37 in May. When Manny must rest, I imagine it being against RHP most of the time, and rather than JP in LF, I’d rather see C. Blake in LF and DeWitt at 3B (if he isn’t in AAA). But that won’t happen. There’s probably at least 30 LF starts for non-Mannys.

    I’d also like to see a complete defensive caddy for Manny for the late innings, but JP (at least he’ll have better range) and his noodle arm might have to do.

  • http://Holiday? berkowit28

    You really took the day off, I guess. I hope you had a nice time.

    What with Diamond Leung fired, and the Kamenetsky brothers off the LAT Dodger blog beat, and Dylan Hernandez not blogging, you are now the *only* blogger with press access to the front office. (Jon Weisman doesn’t use his if he has access.) So we’re depending on you, and only you, for reliable information before it hits the papers, or anywhere. You do deliver the goods. Please don’t let us down, and don’t take too many holidays. ;-) Thanks in advance.

  • Voldomer

    This discussion of Manny’s games played in the OF raises the interesting issue of who will DH in the road interleague games–Manny or Martin? Probably Manny for two games each series?

  • phillydodger

    tony
    thanks for answering my questions about J. Pierre’s likelihood of being on the opening day roster. what are your thoughts about PH and the D’s signing Pedro?

    I know Pedro wants 5 mil guaranteed,(don’t we all) but do you think the team has any interest?