Ted Lilly’s most glaring fault Monday night wasn’t getting shelled for three innings before having to exit a 12-2 loss to the Rockies with back pain. It was the silence the Dodgers starter maintained about tightness in his back since making his first start of the season five days earlier.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was none too pleased to discover after the series opener against the Rockies that Lilly, who began the season one the disabled list due to left shoulder labrum surgery, hadn’t informed the Dodgers training staff of his ailment following a five-inning outing against the Mets a week ago in which he only allowed one run.
“He can’t just keep that to himself,” Mattingly said. “Then at least we know going in to the game that we possibly should have a guy that can go four or five innings, instead of having to use the whole group.”
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez might play his first regular-season game of 2013 tonight against the Colorado Rockies. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers placed pitcher Clayton Kershaw on the bereavement list and reinstated Hanley Ramirez from the disabled list prior to Monday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
Ramirez was expected to be activated at some point during the Dodgers’ three-game series against the Rockies when he showed up at Dodger Stadium Monday. He pronounced himself fit to play before heading off to field ground balls and take a round of batting practice, a normal pregame routine.
Kershaw left immediately after Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers and did not take questions from reporters.
Matt Guerrier allowed two home runs in relief of Matt Magill on Saturday night, further depleting a short-handed Dodgers bullpen. (Associated Press photo)
For all the money the Dodgers have spent building their 2013 roster — about $230 million when the regular season began — they didn’t have a single pitcher available if last night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers had gone to the 12th inning.
That’s not exactly unusual. If taxed enough, any bullpen will run out of arms. The Dodgers didn’t even get to the 10th inning yesterday, but manager Don Mattingly had to line up his possibilities when the Dodgers had runners on second and third base with two outs in the ninth inning.
“I’ve got to bring Josh (Wall) back out” for the 10th inning, Mattingly said. “I’ve got one (inning) with Kenley (Jansen). Then it’s Schu.”
Matt Palmer will have surgery tomorrow in Arizona to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The team originally announced that he would miss six to eight weeks, but Palmer gave a more optimistic, more detailed timetable Monday.
“They say I can throw in two weeks, throw off a mound in three-and-a-half to four,” he said. “I could be back (in a game) by six weeks.”
Matt Magill had never pitched in a spring training game before Saturday, but you wouldn’t have known that by the results: He and non-roster invitee Mark Lowe were the only two pitchers that didn’t allow a run in the Dodgers’ 9-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Magill entered the game with two outs in the seventh inning. He quickly surrendered an infield single when shortstop Dee Gordon couldn’t pick a hard grounder off his backhand, allowing a run to score (it was charged to Kelvin De La Cruz). Magill then struck out the next three batters he faced and induced a fly ball to end the eighth inning — the only 1-2-3 inning defensively for the Dodgers.
That doesn’t always mean much in spring training, but it was a good sign that Magill was calm. For the 23-year-old from Simi Valley, that was one of two keys.
“Just go out and work on my fastball command,” he said, “and work on not getting too hyped up for the first big-league experience.”
Forget having the best 1-2 starting combination in baseball. Ned Colletti clearly intended to put together the majors’ best 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 staff this winter.
When the Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to camp Tuesday, they present a puzzling situation that only time can solve. Chad Billingsley hopes time can heal the torn ligament in his elbow, not season-ending Tommy John surgery. Ted Lilly hopes he can pitch like a legitimate fifth starter, having not pitched in the majors since last May because of injuries. He, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang may have to hope that Colletti can find a desirable destination for their talents outside of L.A.
If healthy, it’s hard to imagine this group staying together. Otherwise, the Dodgers are left with the first eight-man rotation in major-league history, and wouldn’t that be an interesting outcome to what promises to be an interesting camp.
Before the famous economist/statistician/sabrmetrician Nate Silver was chosen as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2009, he crunched baseball stats for BaseballProspectus.com. He found more success in the political arena by taking an old idea and adapting it to a new subject.
Specifically, Silver aggregated just about every pre-election poll he could find, giving each one more or less weight through a formula he devised, to come up with a reliably accurate “prediction model” for the major U.S. elections.
With a nod to Nate, I decided to aggregate four recently released lists ranking the Dodgers prospects — Baseball America, FanGraphs, Minor League Ball and Baseball Prospectus — into a composite ranking. There’s no weighting formula and this is no prediction model. (Besides, success in baseball can’t be defined objectively; if it were, there wouldn’t be so many damn stats). So while Yasiel Puig is listed first in the table you’re about to read, I can’t tell you what that actually means for his long-term baseball success. I can only promise he will not be elected president of the United States.
The Dodgers Dream Foundation, in partnership with the LA84 Foundation and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, announced that they will dedicate a new Dodgers Dreamfield in Reseda Park Saturday. The field is located at 18411 Victory Blvd, Los Angeles and the dedication will begin at 10 a.m. Dodgers prospects Joc Pederson, Onelki Garcia and Matt Magill will be there, along with team president Stan Kasten, broadcaster Charley Steiner and alumni Al “The Bull” Ferrara, Lee Lacy, Ramon Martinez, Fernando Valenzuela and Steve Yeager.
The Dodgers promoted Steven Ames and Matt Magill to the 40-man roster Tuesday, as teams line up to protect players from the Rule 5 draft to be held in December.
Ames, 24, pitched for Double-A Chattanooga of the Southern League and was 3-3 with 18 saves and a 1.56 ERA in 54 games. The reliever struck out 72 batters in 63.1 innings of work and held right-handed hitters to a .177 average (25-for-141). Ames was selected by the Dodgers in the 17th round of the 2007 draft.
Magill, a product of Royal High School in Simi Valley, was drafted in the 31st round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. The 23-year-old started 26 games for Chattanooga in 2012, posting an 11-8 record with a 3.75 ERA. The right-hander fanned 168 batters in his 146.1 innings, including four games with 10 or more strikeouts.
The Dodgers currently have 38 players on their major-league roster. Teams have until 8:59 (PST) tonight to add any Rule 5 draft-eligible players to their roster — players who were 18 or younger when signed and have accrued five years of minor-league service time, and players who were 19 when they signed and have at least four years of service in the minors.