Just so everyone is clear, I am a Willie Calhoun fan – I would love to see him overcome the odds of being a slow runner and a bad fielder and become the opposite. I do not denigrate him because of his stature – that is irrelevant! It’s his fielding and running, and when I say he has “tree-trunk legs,” it means that they are huge and stay in one place too long. He’s built kind of funny, but then again, so is Cody Bellinger. If Cody’s lower body were in proportion to his upper body, he would be seven feet tall. He has a long upper body.
By the way, Willie Calhoun played yesterday and made the routine play on a ground ball hit to him. It was robot-like and not smooth.. but he made it. That’s all that counts. He also had a nice hit to drive in a run. The dude can hit – make no mistake about that.
- Josh Sborz has looked very good.
- SVS looks like he really wants to make the team – he looks determined and healthy!
- Josh Ravin needs more work in the minors.
- I would not be afraid to start the season with Cody Bellinger at 1B.
- Mike Ahmed might be in the mix as a utilityman in 2018.
- Andrew Istler is a guy to watch. He’s 24 and looks like he has a good idea how to pitch. He can progress rapidly!
- Yasiel Puig’s bat flip is in mid-season form. I like it! I also like the way he hit that ball with purpose.
- A-Gon is scheduled to return today.
- Ryu allegedly is progressing and is supposed to see game action this week. No report on his velocity.
- It’s looking more and more like Baez will start the season on the DL as he has been shut down again with that bad finger.
- No matter what Gutierrez does, he has made the team. It’s what he does after the bell rings that counts.
- Kike Hernandez is likely to win that bench spot. He is heating up and is more versatile than Culberson or Taylor.
- I think Toles needs most of the year at AAA to become a better fielder. He has the tools – he just needs to work on his routes.
- On Chase Utley, MLB Trade Rumors wrote this:
“Everyone was lobbying each other” to re-sign Chase Utley, Friedman joked, as “even the groundskeeper was lobbying us to bring Chase back.” Utley’s addition during the 2015 season was a major reason why the Dodgers developed such a good winning attitude last year, Friedman feels, as “I’ve never been around a guy who is more focused on winning.” Utley re-signed with the Dodgers on a one-year, $2MM deal this offseason and will get only limited at-bats since Los Angeles is set around the infield, though clearly Friedman feels Utley’s influence to the Dodgers’ success extends well beyond the field.
In my mind, the roster is starting to take shape. I do not see any way to limit Julio Urias innings except by starting him later. So, he stays in AZ for extended spring training. I would just shut down his throwing for about a month. Right now, this is the 25 I see:
Ryu starts on the DL in Minor League Assignment. Stewart and Stripling go to AAA. Urias is in AZ. This is not the staff they end the season with.
Baez starts on the DL. Hatcher is either on the DL or DFA’ed. Avilan is out of options. Ravin needs work. Alex Wood is the long man/ swing man.
Starting Lineup (8)
- Forsythe 2B
- Seager SS
- Turner 3B
- Grandal C
- Gonzalez 1B
- Puig RF
- Ethier LF
- Pederson CF
- Van Slyke
Hernandez can play anywhere and his bat is waking up so he gets the call over Taylor or Culberson. Toles has work to do on his routes at AAA and Thompson needs to play everyday.
That’s my lineup for now. It will change, I am sure!