Rosin, whom the Dodgers selected in the Rule 5 draft pick in December, faced seven Arizona Diamondbacks batters and struck out five. After the game, Rosin sounded like a kid who had just faced major-league hitters for the first time. He didn’t hide the truth.
“It was really fun to pitch against guys like (Paul) Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock,” he said. “You see them on TV. You always wonder, ‘what would I do if I could pitch against them?’ It was a lot of fun.”
The experience wasn’t as fun for Goldschmidt and Pollock, both of whom struck out in their only at-bat against Rosin. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called it a “good first impression.”
Rosin gets by on three pitches: A fastball that tops out in the low-to-mid 90-mph range, a slider and a changeup. He said the changeup did most of the damage Wednesday.
The performance was more remarkable when you consider that Rosin’s mechanics are still a work in progress. The Dodgers’ coaching staff, including bullpen coach Chuck Crim, has suggested some tweaks — mostly focused on Rosin’s lower body — designed to add a couple more ticks on the radar gun.
Rosin threw entirely out of the stretch. His condensed windup was deliberate nearly to the point of being awkward, almost a less exaggerated version of former Angels reliever Ben Weber (right).
Rosin described his mechanics Wednesday as a mixture of old and new.
“It wasn’t fully incorporated, what I’ve been doing in the dry work, but it’s a process,” he said. “I wasn’t going to go out there and try something totally new in front of the coaches my first time out there. Hopefully by the last couple games in spring training it’s going to be 100 percent there and everything’s going to be like I want it to be.”
For Rosin to make the Dodgers, he’ll need to string together more performances like Wednesday’s. Even then, he might need an injury or two to befall one of the right-handed middle relievers ahead of him on the depth chart — Brian Wilson, Chris Perez, Brandon League, Chris Withrow, Jamey Wright, Jose Dominguez and Javy Guerra.
If Rosin isn’t on the 25-man roster to begin the season, Rule 5 dictates that he must be designated for assignment and placed on waivers, where any of the other 29 teams can claim him.
Some bullet points for a Dominican Independence Day:
• The media interest seems to have waned for the political and economic protests in Venezuela, but the bitter reality for some Venezuelans hasn’t. Non-roster catcher J.C. Boscan told me that his parents, who own a restaurant in Maracaibo, are still struggling to find the food and ingredients that were once readily available. Boscan said he’s struggling to find any news reports about the protests, so he’s been relying on phone calls to his parents.
• Miguel Rojas, meanwhile, said that the situation in Caracas has gotten better. Rather than inciting violence in the streets where his in-laws live, he said that protesters near the Venezuelan capital “are protesting by their houses, with newspapers or with Twitter.”
• I spoke to one Dodgers coach this morning about Dominguez; he said that Dominguez was touching 97-99 mph on the radar gun and looked the same as he did last season. That’s huge for Dominguez, who missed the final 64 games of last season with a strained left quadriceps.
• Dee Gordon‘s younger brother, Nick, is trending as a top-5 pick out of high school:
Crosschecker w/ late 1st round pick went to see Tom Gordon's SS son Nick in Orlando: "No sense going back, he's a top five pick"
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) February 27, 2014
• ICYMI: Clayton Kershaw thinks he has a lot to work on this spring and that his three remaining starts will be enough time to work on it, while Don Mattingly won’t say if Kershaw will start one of the two season-opening games in Sydney, Australia.
• Erisbel Arruebarrena is still waiting for his visa.
• Happy birthday to Henry Cruz (62).
• From the Sydney Morning Herald: Zack Greinke “has already served a third self-contradictory purpose. By professing disinterest in the Dodgers’ pair of games in Australia, he has stirred up a great deal more interest in them than could have been expected more than three weeks out.
• Here’s the Beach Boys jamming with a gospel choir. It’s a great clip. Please leave a comment if you know anything about this session; I’m guessing it took place in or around Los Angeles.