Chris Heisey, Justin Turner and Joc Pederson are silhouetted in a tunnel leading to Camelback Ranch on Wednesday. (Associated Press photo)
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Juan Nicasio had a bad day Wednesday, giving up four hits and three runs in his only inning of work against the White Sox. He knows it. For purposes of timing this was an unfortunate headline on today’s notebook, though not necessarily inaccurate.
Really, the headline is this: The Rockies were talking internally about giving Nicasio a chance to close games at some point before trading him to the Dodgers. In case you’re wondering whether I’m talking about the same Rockies that led the National League in blown saves last season — yes, those Rockies. Those Rockies, and these Dodgers, can agree that Nicasio is back-end-of-the-bullpen material. Strong enough that he’s not out of the April closer conversation yet, though a few more games like Wednesday’s could change the conversation.
Here’s more of what Rockies manager Walt Weiss and general manager Jeff Bridich had to say about Nicasio during our recent interviews:
Zach Lee will make his Cactus League debut Friday against the Seattle Mariners at Camelback Ranch. (Associated Press photo)
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Right-hander Zach Lee will make his Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers in Maryvale, while left-hander David Huff will start the Dodgers’ other split-squad game at home against the Seattle Mariners, manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday.
Both games begin at noon Pacific Time.
Uber-prospect Julio Urias is scheduled to pitch in relief of Huff at Camelback Ranch, though Mattingly said Wednesday “that could be changed.” Mattingly will manage the game at Camelback Ranch.
Mattingly said tentatively that Brandon McCarthy will start Saturday’s game against the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear.
For now, the Dodgers starters will get only “four innings, a couple at-bats.” So if you’re coming to any of these games and want to watch someone whose name you’ll recognize, arrive early.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Dodgers’ now-annual intrasquad ping-pong tournament has begun. In a spirited match, the team of Howie Kendrick and Sergio Santos defeated Jimmy Rollins and Chad Gaudin. The teams were chosen at random. Clayton Kershaw, who often wins these things, is paired with rookie Corey Seager. At last check, they haven’t played yet.
The ping-pong tournament is a trivial affair, of course. One consequence is that it can change the tone of the clubhouse, at least temporarily. So far it’s been a quieter room compared to the past few years – no surprise when you subtract a pair of outgoing cut-ups like Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez. Many of the newcomers have kept to themselves so far. A ping-pong tournament can change that.
Javy Guerra and Onelki Garcia are both in the White Sox camp. We might see them today.
Speaking of former Dodgers, Chad Billingsley’s return date has been pushed back to “late April” in Philadelphia.
Here are the lineups for the noon game at Camelback Ranch. The Cactus League lidlifter, as they say: