The Dodgers are hosting the Texas Rangers today. Scott Van Slyke is starting at first base in his first call-up to the major league side since being demoted from the 40-man roster last year.
Keep an eye on the Rangers’ bullpen. Former Dodger Josh Lindblom, traded last year to the Philadelphia Phillies for Shane Victorino, is scheduled to pitch for Texas. Not many 25-year-old middle relievers can say they were traded for two former All-Stars, but Lindblom can (Victorino and Michael Young).
Three significant bits of injury news were widely reported out of Glendale this morning (I’m in Tempe) that I’ll pass along:
1. Zack Greinke, feeling better today after missing yesterday’s start with a flu, will throw a bullpen session Friday and pitch Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
2. Carl Crawford took 50 swings off a tee today and told reporters he felt fine.
3. Scott Elbert felt fine one day after throwing on flat ground for the first time since elbow surgery in January.
A bunch of noteworthy bullet points:
• Former “Dodger Talk” host Josh Suchon is the new radio voice of the Albuquerque Isotopes.
• So much for Hanley Ramirez sticking to shortstop in the World Baseball Classic. Yesterday he split the game at shortstop and third base, and Dominican manager Tony Pena is contemplating using him extensively at third base. The Dominican Republic beat the Yankees, 6-2 (box)
• Crawford is often asked in Arizona about his time in a Boston Red Sox uniform. He is always blunt about the fact that he didn’t like it. Today was no different.
• Happy birthday to motorcycle enthusiast, Survivor castaway and former Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent.
• A swarm of bees prevented fans from leaving Camelback Ranch through its north gate yesterday. I’m told an exterminator was called to the scene.
• If you’ve seen a game at Camelback this spring, you are by now familiar with this song/clip:
You probably aren’t as familiar with this song/clip:
The first is a clip of the Muppets’ performance of “Mahna Mahna” on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969. The second is taken from an Italian softcore porn called Svezia: Inferno e Paradiso. (Don’t worry, you can watch it at work.) How did a song get from a dirty movie to the Muppets before being beamed into Camelback Ranch? Slate has the details.