GLENDALE, 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 Pederson, Corey 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.
Yoan Moncada, the 19-year-old Cuban phenom who has worked out for the Dodgers among several other teams, has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball according to MLB.com and Yahoo.com.
Last Friday, Yasiel Puig
sacrileged a century and a quarter of baseball tradition offered one man’s opinion by calling the St. Louis Cardinals the Dodgers’ biggest rivals. In case you missed my story,
“We just have to beat St. Louis,” Puig said in Spanish at a Dodgers community caravan stop at Los Angeles’ City Hall on Friday. “If we beat them, we can beat the AL team.
“The principal rivals are the Cardinals. It’s not San Francisco. It’s nobody else.”
That quote found its way to the Bay Area yesterday. Veteran Giants color analyst Mike Krukow, who pitched in San Francisco from 1983-89, responded to Puig’s quote on a local radio station and expressed his gratitude. Via CSNBayArea.com:
“He’s just young. He’s just young and dumb and he’s gonna say some stuff. As a group, I doubt if they are gonna be talking about it openly but they are gonna be thinking about it. They [the Giants players] don’t miss stuff like that … if there was any way to refocus a whole group with a World Series hangover, this is it. Thank you Yasiel Puig.”
And with that, Krukow — who’s a great analyst and highly respected among fans – became a much bigger a homer than he is on the air.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig said he’s worked on speed this off-season. (Getty Images)
With speedy leadoff man Dee Gordon and slugger Matt Kemp both traded, it’s not clear where Yasiel Puig will bat in the Dodgers’ lineup this season. He batted second most of last season, has hit first in the past, and has enough power to anchor the middle.
“I haven’t been told where I’ll be hitting,” he said in Spanish at Los Angeles City Hall on Friday. “Miguel Cabrera has given me some advice on working out, weightlifting. I’ve been exercising more this off-season than other years. … I’ve been concentrating on my speed to steal more bases.”
Sounds like he’ll be ready for anything. Here’s more from Puig (in Spanish):
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:
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi touched on a variety of topics after Jimmy Rollins’ introductory press conference on Wednesday. Here are some highlights:
It’s going to take more than one story or one blog entry to grasp the full scope of what’s happened to the Dodgers roster since the end of the season. I wrote this today. It’s a start. Mostly, it’s a look ahead to what the 2015 Dodgers could look like. What changes could happen between now and then?
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig had two doubles in a 3-for-4 performance last night in Team USA’s 6-1 win over Japan in the Japan All-Star Series. It was the first win for the traveling MLB squad against a Japanese all-star team known as “Samurai Japan.”
Puig made a diving catch in right field and also did this:
MLB has more on the game here; the box score is here. Dodgers catcher Drew Butera went 0 for 4 in the game.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig went 0 for 2 early Wednesday morning in Japan as a team of MLB All-Stars lost 2-0 to a team of Japanese All-Stars.
Puig struck out and walked in his only two plate appearances against Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda. Maeda, who has been reportedly interested in coming to MLB in 2015, threw five shutout innings. Puig grounded out against reliever Kazuhisa Makita in his only other plate appearance.
The MLB All-Stars got only three hits in the game against Maeda, Makita, Yuji Nishino and Shohei Otani — the 20-year-old with a 99-mph fastball who is expected to start next Tuesday.
According to MLB.com, the schedule for the exhibition games is as follows:
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, one of the first orders of business for the Dodgers’ new front office includes trading an outfielder.
There’s no surprise there. What’s interesting is the names on the trade list.
The Dodgers never shopped their outfielders aggressively under former general manager Ned Colletti. Now it seems front-office shakeup could be followed by a shakeup of the major league roster.