GLENDALE, Ariz. — Clayton Kershaw mixed all his pitches into a 40-pitch batting practice session Saturday, his first of the spring. One, a hanging slider, resulted in a home run by Juan Uribe over the left-field fence on a back field at Camelback Ranch.
Kershaw also faced Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner in what amounted to a two-inning stint. No other balls left the infield (or would have at least, if there were any actual infielders on the field).
“I’m going to have to hear about Uribe hitting a home run off me all season,” Kershaw quipped. “I’m glad I gave him some confidence for the year.”
More than a confidence boost for Uribe, the afternoon was a showcase for Kershaw’s competitiveness. The reigning National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner still has it, even when throwing live batting practice to his teammates in February. Continue reading →
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Pitcher Zack Greinke received a “lubricating injection” in his right elbow and is expected to be back on his normal routine soon.
Pitcher Sergio Santos, who was sent home yesterday due to illness, is back. So is third baseman Juan Uribe, who rolled into camp in a massive Hummer four days ahead of the mandatory reporting date for position players:
I caught up with pitcher Chris Withrow, who’s been here since Feb. 10 rehabbing from surgery on a herniated disk in December. Back in January at FanFest, Withrow said there was no timetable for him to resume throwing. He’s throwing now but with many restrictions: from his knees, from a short distance, and not exerting himself. “Just to get my shoulder moving,” he said.
Greinke, 31, had never won a Gold Glove award before in his career. Greinke made one error in 59 chances this season, a .983 fielding percentage.
Gonzalez had won the award three times before in his career, twice with the San Diego Padres and once with the Boston Red Sox. No Dodgers first baseman had won a Gold Glove award since Steve Garvey in 1977.
Gonzalez gets an additional $100,000 from the Dodgers for winning the award, part of a bonus clause that was written into his 2012 contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Juan Uribe was a finalist for a Gold Glove award at third base. He fell short in the balloting to defending winner Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was a finalist to win the award along with Greinke.
Juan Uribe is a finalist for the National League Gold Glove Award at third base, along with Nolan Arenado and Pablo Sandoval. (Getty Images)
Juan Uribe has never won a Gold Glove Award in his career.
If you tend to think in absolutes, such as “Juan Uribe is absolutely the best defensive third baseman in the National League,” that might be hard to believe. If you do not, and you acknowledge that the Gold Glove Awards can be biased and subjective (Rafael Palmeiro won one on the basis of his 28 games played at first base in 1999), it starts to make sense.
In defense of the award selection process, it’s really hard to appreciate a player’s fielding ability over the course of a typical three-game series. When you see a batter swing, you get a sense for his strengths and weaknesses with a bat. At the least, you can watch an at-bat and might get some sense of his plate discipline. However, three games won’t necessarily allow you to see him field a ball, let alone make a tough play. One series, a guy might look like the best fielder on the planet. The next, he might look like Hanley Ramirez. Also, there’s no telling if the player was fully healthy during the three-game series you watched.
The majority of Gold Glove Award determination is done by a manager’s vote. Since he can’t vote for his own players, the observations he collects — one series at a time — matter quite a bit. It’s 75 percent of the final vote. The other 25 percent is determined by something called the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), a statistic invented specifically for the purpose of Gold Glove Award voting. Don Mattingly has said that all managers can see this stat for all players before they vote.
Clayton Kershaw is a finalist for a National League Gold Glove Award, which he won for the only time in 2011. (Associated Press photo)
Dodger pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and third baseman Juan Uribe are finalists for National League Gold Glove awards.
The quartet was announced Thursday by Rawlings, the equipment maker which sponsors the award. Winners will be revealed on ESPN2 Nov. 4. The winners have already been chosen; the three finalists at each position are really the top three vote-getters.
We’ll have a bit more on each player’s credentials in a bit. Here’s the full list of NL Gold Glove Award finalists: Continue reading →
Hanley Ramirez spent the minimum time on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle. (Getty Images)
Hanley Ramirez was in the Dodgers’ starting lineup Sunday for the first time since he strained a right oblique muscle August 8 in Milwaukee. Ramirez was batting fourth then, and has batted either second, third or fourth every time he’s been in the lineup this year.
Why is he batting fifth today?
“I wanted to let Hanley get back into the flow,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s been a little bit of time. He doesn’t really have a history with (New York Mets starter Bartolo) Colon. Matt’s got a little history.”
“We’re not really going to try to be that cautious,” Mattingly said. “We’re going to play him. We’re not going to run him into the ground. If he’s not feeling good we’re going to give him a break. With the days off coming, just kind of play it by ear. Play one, got one off. Play two, got another one off. Then we’ve got six in a row. Unless we’ve got something going on, he should be fairly rested.” Continue reading →
Hyun-Jin Ryu played catch with Juan Uribe prior to the Dodgers’ game against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. Two days ago, he played catch with head athletic trainer Stan Conte. The pitcher appears to be making progress in his “submaximal throwing program,” as Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called it, while recovering from a strained right gluteus medius.
“Timetable-wise, I don’t think we have that, but the fact that he’s throwing and feeling good — Stan said the day before the catch was fairly firm,” Mattingly said. “Assuming it’s continuing to progress. Right now, feel pretty good about it.
Ryu isn’t able to run yet, Mattingly said. He’s eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on August 29.