Daily Distractions: Now wearing number 11 for the Dodgers, Erisbel Arruebarrena.

Dixie Walker wore number 11 for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1939 to 1947. The jersey changed hands 13 times over the next 22 years, until Manny Mota donned number 11 in 1969. It was his up until his final appearance as a 44-year-old pinch hitter in 1982, a groundout that interrupted Mota’s long tenure as the Dodgers’ hitting coach.

Mota, now 76 years old, is still wearing the uniform in camp these days in an unofficial capacity, much like the man wearing number 2, Tommy Lasorda. Pitcher Guillermo Mota (no relation) wore number 11 briefly as a Dodger in the early 2000s. The number seemed to be reserved for Motas — or at least, players with only four letters in their last name, as if the MOTA could be balanced delicately atop the two digits.

Today, this was hanging in the Dodgers’ clubhouse:

Erisbel Arruebarrena (pronounced Arr-ru-eh-BAHR-ena, as the caption indicates) recently received his U.S. work visa and arrived in camp Thursday morning.

As for the type of player we can expect to see wearing number 11, the bar is as high as a 5-year, $25 million contract.

Minor league games are likely next, writes Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com.

I’m not in camp today. I’ll be attending the annual SABR Analytics Conference in downtown Phoenix, where Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte is speaking on a panel discussing medical analysis and injury prevention.

Some bullet points for an National earmuff day:

Miguel Rojas is hitting .368/.429/.368 this spring, with seven singles in 19 at-bats. When I told him that not many expected him to hit that well, Rojas agreed. “Not even me,” he said.

• I spoke to Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt yesterday about pitcher Josh Beckett‘s sprained thumb. The injury was minor enough that Beckett “threw a regular 30-pitch bullpen” two days ago, Honeycutt said. It doesn’t sound like his start tomorrow is in jeopardy.

Manny Ramirez admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.

BaseballAmerica.com reviewed the Dodgers’ recent international signing class.

• Happy birthday to Mariano Duncan (51).

• Rick Reilly announced he’s done writing about sports. Here’s his 1986 take on Jim Murray for Sports Illustrated.

• Local Natives’ new track, “You and I,” is a reminder that pop music can have a big sound that transcends the moment (think U2) without being too polished and overbearing (think U2):

)

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email