On a practical level, that meant no pre-scheduled pop-up drills. “That’s a waste of time,” manager Don Mattingly said. “You don’t mind guys being tested, but this is -you’re not going to get anything done there. We got into some forced balks, stuff like that. …AT&T (Park in San Francisco) is pretty windy, but it’s different circumstance. We weren’t going to get anything done with that drill today.”
Some more nuts-and-bolts items:
On Sunday, the Dodgers will play a four-inning intrasquad scrimmage. Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, Stephen Fife and Will Savage are scheduled to throw.
Team pictures were taken today prior to workouts.
The first official game is Monday against the Chicago White Sox, who share the Camelback facility and will make the Dodgers the visiting team on a field adjacent to their own clubhouse. (Go figure.) One thing to look out for is the number of at-bats given to James Loney, Juan Rivera and Mark Ellis. Each has been notorious for starting slowly in the first half, then picking it up in the second. Why? Mattingly offered his theory.
“Most guys that are slow starters that kind of get rolling after that are usually timing guys,” Mattingly said. “It takes ’em a little bit longer to get in. Once they click it in, they’re pretty solid.”
One possible solution: More at-bats.
“When James has gotten a lot of at-bats, he’s gotten off to a better start. We’re going to try to get him more (at-bats) than probably most. Ellis has been a slow starter, had some good springs, some bad springs. He’s had a year or so where he’s had decent starts but it doesn’t seem like the (number of) at-bats really makes a difference. Juan’s the same way.
… (Jerry) Hairston, we want to try to get him a lot of at-bats down here, especially late. We want to get him more late.”