It’s how you play the game. That’s what Spring Training is about. Nevermind the record. How did they do?
- Kershaw was Kershaw
- Wood was not Good and I can’t be ravin about Ravin.
- Fabio Castillo pitched well, but he is 28 years old and a career minor leaguer with a 32-50 record and a 4.50 ERA. Nothing to see here folks… move along! Then again, this is baseball… you never know.
- While we are talking about career minor leaguers, lefthander Edward Paredes looked interesting with 3 K’s in the 9th inning. It likely means zip.
- Forsythe and Grandal looked like they are ready and for the record, I am predicting a breakout year for Yasmani. P.S. He needs to still work on balls in the dirt.
- Brett Eibner did nothing to cause his stock to dip as hit blasted a HR.
- Chris Taylor singled, stole second and scored on a clutch SVS single. Keep an eye on him. He can play all over the Infield and now CF.
- Hernandez, Taylor or Culberson – the Dodgers will keep one. This is a serious battle.
- Yasiel Puig and Franklin Gutierrez looked to be in great shape, as did Yasmani Grandal – Good on them – they are ready. This is the first winter Grandal could just concentrate on conditioning. As I said, I expect big things from him… and he was hitting Cleanup. I like him there. Maybe not every game, but I think he will get a shot.
I believe that the Dodger’s starting pitching will astound people. I think the bullpen will again be stellar, but I think the Dodgers season will turn upon the growth of three players:
- Joc Pederson – He HAS to hit LH pitching better than .125 or he will be in a platoon in CF. This is the year we find out what he is made of. I mean, even he hits .215, it’s progress!
- Yasiel Puig – Will he be who he was the past two years or what he was during his rookie year? He needs to get it together this year.
- Yasmani Grandal – I happen to believe that he can hit .260 with 40 HR ands 100 RBI, but can he stay healthy enough to do that?
Those three players could hit 120 HR between them – it’s possible – but they could also do a lot worse than that. They are all young enough to grow into their roles. This could be fun to watch.
Can Kershaw Be Even Better?
Finally, the announcers made an issue out of the fact that Clayton threw a changeup to Cabrera that he was not happy with, and later went to the bullpen to work on it, where he was seen screaming at himself. They were talking about his intensity and how hard he works, but they should be talking about the fact that he is even throwing a changeup this early in the Spring. Clayton is trying to develop a changeup… not just any changeup, but a killer changeup. It looks like a fastball and the hitter misses it by 5 feet. With his slider, curve and fastball, if he adds a Greg Maddux changeup – look out! We may not have seen the best of Clayton Kershaw. He is definitely headed to Cooperstown and on MLB a few days ago, they added that he is 29, just entering his prime and with a few more good years, he could be in the conversation as the GOAT!
How Can Anyone Criticize FAZ?
This is from Dodger’s Digest:
The Dodgers big-league squad doesn’t have a whole lot of holes entering Spring Training, so it’s remarkable then that after ranking #3 in 2015 and #1 in 2016, the Dodgers are still #4 in Baseball America’s Organization Talent Rankings.
How They Got Here: No other team graduated significant prospects like the Dodgers in 2016. Their class included Rookie of the Year shortstop Corey Seager and lefthander Julio Urias, last year’s top-ranked pitching prospect. And yet the Dodgers remain a top-five system, stocked with high-priced Cubans with impact tools (Yadier Alvarez and Yusniel Diaz), fourth-round pick sluggers (Cody Bellinger and Willie Calhoun) and depth from international and draft sources.
Mitchell White is listed as a sleeper with a high ceiling and the breakout candidate is none other than Walker Buehler.
Exciting times, just have to hope everything goes as planned (even though it rarely does).
The teams ahead of of them have all been or are currently being blown up while the Dodgers have won the division 4 years in a row. They even traded three top prospects last year. We should be grateful Andrew Friedman is in charge. The best is yet to come.