Dodgers’ Corey Seager ranked the number-four shortstop prospect in baseball (MLB.com)

Corey Seager

Dodgers shortstop prospect Corey Seager, 20, slashed .345/.381/.534 after getting called up to Double-A last season. (Staff photo)

MLB.com is ranking its top 10 prospects by position, and Corey Seager checked in at number four on today’s list of the top shortstops.

Writes Jonathan Mayo:

Kyle Seager is an All-Star and Gold Glove third baseman who just got a big contract extension from the Mariners. Scary thing is his kid brother might have more upside. He’s as good a hitter as there is in the Minor Leagues, one who’s bat will profile well even if he has to eventually move to third, a move most foresee. He has All-Star potential wherever he plays.

Seager, 20, recently received his first invitation to the Dodgers’ major-league spring training camp.

Erik Bedard and Ben Rowen bring Dodgers’ list of non-roster invitees to 18.

Erik Bedard

Erik Bedard went 4-6 with a 4.76 earned-run average in 17 games (15 starts) for the Tampa Bay Rays last season.

The Dodgers announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Ben Rowen and left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard to minor-league contracts with invitations to major league spring training camp.

That brings the number of non-roster invitees to 18:

Pitchers (8): Chris Anderson, Erik Bedard, Ryan BuchterDavid HuffJosh Ravin, Ben RowenSergio Santos, Julio Urias

Position players (10): Erisbel ArruebarrenaBuck BrittonMatt Carson, O’Koyea Dickson, Kyle Jensen, Chris O’Brien, Corey SeagerAli SolisDarnell Sweeney,Shawn Zarraga

Continue reading

Video: Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson talks rookie program, patience, etc.

Joc Pederson gave a seemingly mundane interview [above] to MLB.com today, talking about his personal development as a hitter and the rookie development camp going on this week in Los Angeles. Two things to keep in mind about what he said:

Continue reading

Analysis: The Dodgers’ roster is still bloated.

Tim Wallach is addressing the #Dodgers. First full team workout is in progress.

A photo posted by J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) on


One question was posed to me several times this week: Are the Dodgers done making moves?

No. Ask Andrew Friedman or Farhan Zaidi or any GM, and he’ll say his work is never finished. There’s always an intriguing minor-league free agent somewhere (see: Chin-Hui Tsao), an injury waiting to happen. Some person or event will inevitably shift a team’s needs. Baseball is a dynamic sport. The only constant is change.

Furthermore, hasn’t the roster changed enough? As DodgersInsider.com recently pointed out, only 15 players on the current 40-man roster appeared in a game for the Dodgers in 2013. That was before Erisbel Arruebarrena was designated for assignment to make room for Brett Anderson (which doesn’t affect the stat I just cited, but still constitutes change).

OK, so the Dodgers have made a lot of moves recently and thrown around a lot of money in the process. But how much money, and where have all those moves left the 2015 club?

Here’s what got me thinking about this. Zaidi has already said that obtaining an eighth inning-type reliever is something the Dodgers will look at, either via trade or free agency. As I wrote yesterday, if the Dodgers have reason to be concerned with their roster, it might be what happens with the ninth inning if Kenley Jansen is hurt or sputtering.

Then I tried to figure out how adding a proven eighth-inning pitcher, someone who would cost more than your typical middle reliever, would impact the Dodgers’ current roster balance and payroll. That’s when this little thought exercise got messy. And complicated. Spreadsheets were needed. God help you if you’re a non-roster invitee trying to make this team out of spring training.

The Dodgers’ payroll is bursting at the seams because of pricey former players and potential 25-man roster guys. Still.

Continue reading

Julio Urias, Corey Seager headline list of Dodgers’ 17 non-roster invitees to spring training.

Julio Urias

Prospect Julio Urias, 18, pitched one Cactus League inning for the Dodgers in 2014 and did not allow a runner to reach base. (Associated Press photo)

Eighteen-year-old pitching prospect Julio Urias has earned a non-roster invitation to the Dodgers’ 2015 spring training camp. He and top shortstop prospect Corey Seager headline a list of 17 non-roster invitees to the Dodgers’ spring training camp announced Friday.

Shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena, who was designated for assignment nine days ago with four years remaining on his $25 million contract, is also in that group.

Here is the full list:
Continue reading

Dodgers, Rangers to invade Alamodome for two exhibition games next March.

The Dodgers announced that they will play two exhibition games against the Texas Rangers in San Antonio, Texas, March 20 and 21, 2015.

This is the third year for the event, dubbed the “Big League Weekend,” a two-game Major League Baseball exhibition hosted at the Alamodome in Downtown San Antonio.  The games will be played on Friday, March 20 (5 p.m. PST) and Saturday, March 21 (11 a.m.). Tickets go on sale Friday, November 14.

The Dodgers are also scheduled to play split-squad games against the Oakland A’s and Colorado Rockies in Arizona March 20 and 21, respectively.

According to event organizers, more than 75,000 fans packed the Alamodome when the Rangers hosted the San Diego Padres in the inaugural Big League Weekend in 2013.  It was the first baseball event in the building’s 20-year-history. Last year, the Rangers hosted the Houston Astros.

The Dodgers were the Major League affiliate of the Double-A San Antonio Missions from 1977-2000.

Dodgers announce full 2015 spring training schedule.

The Dodgers’ full Cactus League schedule was announced today. Their first game is March 4 at Camelback Ranch against the Chicago White Sox.

Game times are listed in Mountain Time. Note that Daylight Saving Time begins March 8, so you’ll have to subtract an hour to convert each game time to Pacific Time prior to March 8.

Continue reading

Dodgers will play five 2015 preseason games against the Angels.

The Dodgers haven’t announced their preseason/spring training/exhibition/unofficial game schedule yet, but we know roughly one-sixth of it.

That’s because the Angels announced their schedule yesterday, and it includes five games against the Dodgers.

The Freeway Series will begin Thursday April 2 and Friday, April 3 in Anaheim (both games are at 7 p.m.). On Saturday, April 4, the series shifts to Dodger Stadium; the time of that game hasn’t been announced yet.

The regular season begins for both clubs on Monday, April 6.

In Cactus League play, the Dodgers will host the Angels at Camelback Ranch on Thursday, March 19 at 1 p.m., and visit the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Saturday, March 28 at 1 p.m.

Spring training ends poorly for Dodgers’ Dan Haren.

Miguel Rojas

Miguel Rojas, who grounded out on this at-bat Saturday, finished spring training with a .387 batting average, second on the Dodgers to Justin Turner’s .389. (Associated Press photo)

ANAHEIM — Dan Haren‘s final spring tuneup was one to forget.

The right-hander allowed all six Angels runs in a 6-2 Dodgers loss before an announced crowd of 43,553 at Angel Stadium on Saturday.

The Dodgers resume regular-season play tomorrow in San Diego. It’s the Padres’ first game of the season. Opening Day for most major-league teams is Monday.

Last weekend, the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks twice in Sydney, Australia and have a regular-season record of 2-0. They came back and lost two of three to the Angels, officially finishing spring training with a 7-12-5 record.

Haren didn’t go to Australia. Since the Dodgers only needed two starting pitchers (and kept Paul Maholm for insurance), Haren stayed behind and pitched minor-league spring training games in Arizona.

The playing environment changed dramatically Saturday. Haren went from games with no official statistics and no names on the back of players’ jerseys to a sold-out stadium. The change seemed to have caught him by surprise.

The Angels scored two runs in the first inning on back-to-back RBI doubles by Albert Pujols and David Freese. In the second inning, Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun hit back-to-back home runs.

Trout’s home run came on a hanging split-fingered fastball, Haren said, while almost all of the Angels’ other hard hits came off his cut fastball. Haren allowed six hits in two innings.

“It was just kind of getting it a little bit flat,” Haren said of his cutter. “I have to have the mindset of driving it down and away to a righty rather than just leaving it out there.

“I’m going to throw quite a few of them in the bullpen. I need to get that sharpened up. My other pitches were actually OK. I struggled with it last start too in the minor leagues. I threw a bunch in the last inning of that game.”

Haren starts Wednesday in San Diego, the finale of the three-game series with the Padres. His final major-league spring training ERA: 6.00.

“It’s the last one that doesn’t count,” Haren said. “No use thinking about it too much. I got some work in. It’s been a while since I felt like I’ve been on a mound, it seems like, at least in a real game. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I feel OK. Just flush it down and move on to the next one.”

Said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly: “I’m glad it’s tonight and not Wednesday.”

The Dodgers scored both of their runs in the third inning on a two-run double by Chone Figgins. Most of the starters played only two defensive innings.

It was a good day for the Dodgers’ bullpen. Against almost entirely major-league competition, they combined for six scoreless innings: One by Brandon League, three by Matt Magill and two by Red Patterson.

The box score is here.

A few more notes:
Continue reading

Hyun-Jin Ryu starts Sunday, Darnell Sweeney is an understated hero, and other postgame notes.

Darnell Sweeney

Dodgers prospect Darnell Sweeney is soaked with water and sports drink after hitting a single to center field in the 10th inning, scoring Trayvon Robinson and ending the game. The Dodgers defeated the Angels 5-4 in 10 innings. (John McCoy / Staff photographer)

Hyun-Jin Ryu will start for the Dodgers in San Diego on Sunday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said after the Dodgers’ 5-4, 10-inning win over the Angels on Friday.

Ryu is already 1-0 with a 0.00 earned-run average after picking up the win last Sunday in Sydney, Australia. Ryu shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks for five innings before a toe injury caused him to come out of the game.

That injury has healed, Mattingly said, and Ryu will oppose Andrew Cashner at Petco Park in the Padres’ Opening Day game.

Clayton Kershaw was originally scheduled to start the game, but a back injury forced him to sit out. Kershaw might begin the season on the disabled list.

Ryu threw a bullpen session prior to Friday’s game and passed that preliminary test. Zack Greinke will pitch the second game of the series Tuesday against Ian Kennedy and Dan Haren will oppose Tyson Ross on Wednesday.

Haren will also start the finale of the Freeway Series on Saturday, a game that’s scheduled to begin just after 6 p.m. at Angel Stadium.

As for Friday’s game, played before an announced crowd of 39,143 at Dodger Stadium and interrupted by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake, the Dodgers nearly blew it.
Continue reading