Six days after surgery, Kenley Jansen reports to Dodgers’ spring training camp.

Kenley Jansen

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is expected to miss up to the first month of the regular season following foot surgery last Tuesday. (Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Kenley Jansen arrived in camp Monday, using crutches to walk six days after his procedure in Los Angeles.

The pitcher didn’t need much convincing to get the surgery done after an x-ray revealed a growth in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot.

“We’ve just got to see what’s good for you and your career and for the season, (if playing through an injury is) going to hurt the team,” he said. “I’d rather have it moving 100 percent so I can be ready for the season.”

Jansen said he first noticed pain in the affected area last year “if I paid attention sometimes, but not as much.

“If I had to pay attention on it, it was more this year,” he said. “In January the trainers checked it out to see what it is. That’s what I did. I did the right decision, I feel like.”

In five days Jansen will be off crutches and into a protective boot. He’s been cleared to begin upper-body workouts.

Dodgers’ Ben Rowen recovering quickly from thoracic outlet surgery.

Ben Rowen

Ben Rowen appeared in eight major-league games with the Texas Rangers last year and allowed four runs in 8 2/3 innings. (Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Brandon Beachy and Chris Withrow, both of whom had Tommy John procedures on their right elbow last year, aren’t the only pitchers in camp recovering from major surgeries.

Right-hander Ben Rowen, a non-roster invitee, had thoracic outlet surgery on his right shoulder last November. It’s the same surgery that ended Josh Beckett’s 2013 season with the Dodgers.

Continue reading

Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke receives ‘lubricating injection’ in elbow.

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke received an injection in his right elbow Thursday. (Associated Press photo)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Updating our previous post, Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke received something the team called a “lubricating injection” in his right elbow Thursday. He’s expected to be back on a normal routine in a few days.

“I think they wanted to have (the injection) a couple days earlier but they really wanted the doc to be here,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “We had to wait a couple days.”

Mattingly said that Greinke has received the injection each of the past two years as well, a fact the team didn’t disclose until today.

“Zack had thrown like five bullpens and it’s something he’d planned on doing,” Mattingly said.

If Greinke has had the injection before, it’s worth questioning its efficacy.

In August of last year the Dodgers delayed one of Greinke’s starts for two days because of elbow soreness; he said the injury had been bothering him for a month at the time. Greinke left Camelback Ranch midway through his first camp with the Dodgers because of inflammation in the back of his right elbow.

Juan Uribe is here, and other early-morning notes.

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.

Don Mattingly is about to address the media.

It’s a quiet morning as Dodgers pitchers, catchers, and a few others report to camp.

Camelback RanchGLENDALE, Ariz. — Day 1 of spring training was an uneventful one for the Dodgers. The only pitcher or catcher not in camp before noon was Joel Peralta, who is flying to Phoenix now and scheduled to take his physical this afternoon.

Several position players have reported early, including Yasiel Puig, Joc PedersonCorey Seager, Scott Schebler, O’Koyea Dickson and Matt Carson, a non-roster invitee.

New pitcher David Aardsma, another non-roster invitee, is wearing number 58.

Kenley Jansen is not here — no surprise, since the pitcher underwent surgery on his left foot Tuesday in Los Angeles. Unless that changes, we won’t have any news today about the biggest (and so far only) injury of camp.

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

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

Josh Beckett thrives, Matt Kemp struggles, in Dodgers’ latest minor-league spring training game.

Josh Beckett

Josh Beckett threw three shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs on March 15 before leaving with a right thumb contusion. (Associated Press photo)

Josh Beckett threw four mostly successful innings against the Cincinnati Reds’ Triple-A club at Camelback Ranch on Thursday. It was his first appearance since being pulled from a Cactus League start against the Chicago Cubs on March 15 with a contusion on his right thumb.

The right-hander allowed six hits and one earned run, walked one and struck out four. He threw 52 pitches, 39 for strikes. Beckett was said to have used his curveball well, a pitch that gave him trouble in his last start because of the thumb injury.

Playing in the same game, Matt Kemp continued his struggles at the plate as he returns from off-season ankle surgery. Kemp went 0-for-5 with 3 strikeouts. Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford was 3-for-3 with a home run and two hard singles to left field. He played five innings in left field and was caught stealing.

Brandon League pitched in a Double-A game at home against Cincinnati and allowed one home run in 1 ⅓ innings. League threw 18 pitches, 12 for strikes, walked none and struck out none.