Carl Crawford was left feeling upbeat after seeing live pitching for the first time at Camelback Ranch on Monday.
“Everything felt good,” he said after seeing about 30 pitches. “I’ve just got to get my timing down.”
Chad Billingsley sounded like a man who was just happy to be on the field Monday. At least, happy to be there and happy to be throwing strikes.
Billingsley didn’t really have a bad thing to say about his first appearance of the spring, even though his stat line said otherwise. The right-hander allowed five hits, two runs (both earned) and struck out one batter in two innings against the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs’ first four batters of the game hit a double, double, home run and single off Billingsley, putting the Dodgers in a 2-0 hole early in a 7-6 win.
But more importantly for the 28-year-old, he was pitching again and his elbow felt fine.
On a back field, far from the Dodgers and Vin Scully (who was in Glendale to broadcast his first game of spring training), Mike Piazza and Team Italy were preparing for the World Baseball Classic at Camelback Ranch.
Piazza took a break from his duties as hitting coach to tell reporters that he had no regrets over what he wrote about Scully in his book “Longshot.” The former Dodgers catcher took plenty of heat for insinuating that Scully fueled the perception that, by setting a deadline to sign a contract extension in 1998, Piazza was being disloyal to the team.
On Monday, he responded:
MLB Network analyst and 11-year major-league veteran Eric Byrnes was at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. He and his MLBN colleagues are making several stops in spring training to film video segments for their annual “30 clubs in 30 Days tour.”
That’s a lot of clubs in a short amount of time, and Byrnes said he’ll be seeing 10 of them, starting with the Cubs, Royals, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Reds and now the Dodgers. He’ll be at the Brewers, A’s and Angels later in the week. I asked him for his thoughts about what he’s seen so far from talking to and watching the Dodgers. We hit on a variety of other topics that I’ll save for future posts/stories, so enjoy this two question Q-and-A.
Wearing the same stoic expression he used to retire six of the seven batters he faced Sunday, Zack Greinke explained his approach toward spring training games in the Dodgers’ clubhouse.
“I try to not pay any attention to the results,” Greinke said. “If you’re getting hit pretty hard then you have to think about it a little bit. I don’t take anything positive from it. I guess you only take the negative out, for the most part.”
It seems Greinke won’t spend much time thinking about his first appearance in a Dodgers uniform. He threw two scoreless innings that followed the script almost perfectly. Greinke tossed 11 pitches, all for strikes.