Monday, March 21, 2011

Catching up on Dodger news

Sorry for the lack of posts the past week. I went out of town for the weekend. Lots of stuff has happened in the past week, so let's get right down to it (in no apparent order).

Jerry Sands and Justin Sellers demoted
- Both were long shots to make the roster -- especially Sands -- but the experience both gained in camp this year is invaluable. Both youngsters were sent to the Dodgers' minor-league camp.

While Sands put up impressive numbers (not the be-all, end-all, especially in spring), Sellers didn't. However, the fact Sellers was a candidate for the 25th man just shows what the Dodger organization thinks of him. He should be one of the first infielders called up, if needed.

With Sellers' demotion, the last utility infield spot seems to be down to Aaron Miles and Juan Castro. Oy vey.

Sands, despite his hot spring, was demoted. It was the right move by the Dodgers. I wrote a couple weeks ago that Sands needed to start in the minors to hit against more advanced pitching.

With his performance, a lot of people are excited at the prospects of this prospect. Here's hoping he lives up to the hype.

Matt Kemp is on fire
- Kemp hit his fourth home run of the spring on Sunday. Eight of Kemp's 14 hits this spring have gone for extra bases.

The Dodgers are counting on Kemp to rebound for him poor 2010. I'm extremely confident in Kemp's ability to best his career-best numbers in all the major categories this season. His role has been clearly defined by Don Mattingly (cleanup hitter, center fielder) which should help him realize his full potential.

Rubby De La Rosa is turning heads
- De La Rosa pitched four no-hit innings on Friday against the Giants, walking three and striking out two. De La Rosa's spring ERA is down to 1.80 in 10 innings of work. He's allowed seven hits, two runs, three walks and has struck out seven. His groundout/airout ratio is at 1.33 -- a little low for him. Still, the Dodgers must be toying with the idea of letting this flamethrower pitch out of the 'pen to start his career.

I'm not on board with this. The Dodgers have a glut of relievers and De La Rosa needs to stretch his arm out to be able to handle a full starter's workload. He should start in Double-A before being promoted to Triple-A. He could see time with the Dodgers this season, and possibly sooner than September.

Who is this Hector Gimenez?
- Gimenez, a journeyman, AAAA, is hitting enough to warrant consideration of a 25-man roster spot. Gimenez, who can catch and play first base (and possibly a little third), could be a nice utility-type player for the Dodgers. He has three home runs and a 1.136 OPS (I know, Spring Training). However, he certainly couldn't be much worse than Dioner Navarro, he of the .267 on- base percentage.

There isn't much chance of Gimenez beating out Navarro, but the Dodgers could consider keeping him aboard, especially if Casey Blake starts the season on the disabled list.

Xavier Paul got hot
- Paul has been hot since his cold start this spring. With Blake's season debut in doubt and Jay Gibbons having trouble with his eye sight (even though it appears to be "fixed,"), Paul, who is out of options, could find himself on the roster for Opening Day. However, his 1:14 BB:K ratio is rather alarming.

The pitching staff has struggled
- Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, John Ely and Hiroki Kuroda were all knocked around a little in their most recent starts. It's best to get those cobwebs out of the way in March.

Matt Guerrier, who gave up three home runs in 71 innings last season, has given up three home runs in six spring innings.

Speaking of Ely...
- Ely is bidding to be the Dodgers' fifth starter over Tim Redding. Ely has 15 strikeouts in 15 innings this spring. Could we be seeing the second coming of Elymania?

Will Mike MacDougal make the cut?
- MacDougal has a 0.00 ERA this spring, but he does have four walks in his 6 1/3 innings pitched. Still, folks will be influenced by that ERA and thanks to Ronald Belisario's inability to be in America, MacDougal, who seemingly had zero business breaking camp with the Dodgers, is looking more and more like a cinch for the 'pen.

Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness has a good blog post about MacDougal and what to expect. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. also has a write-up on MacDougal.

Tony Gwynn is making an impression
- My last entry was about Gwynn and the Dodgers' need for him to hit. Petriello must have read it because he had a similar (and admittedly, more in-depth) post about Gwynn and what he can do for the Dodgers.

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In other Dodger blog news...

True Blue L.A.'s Chad Moriyama has a Prospect Profile on one of my favorite Dodger prospects, Trayvon Robinson.

Memories of Kevin Malone's Greg Zakwin has his 2010 Center Field Year in Review up.

L.A. Dodger Talk's Jared Massey and Mark Timmons of have been in Arizona following the Dodgers for the last few days. The guys from True Blue L.A. (Eric Stephen and David Young) have been there, too.

Opinion of Kingman's Performance's Evan Bladh, Sr., has an interesting post on nicknames.

Lasorda's Lair's Kenny Shulsen takes a first-hand look at Camelback Ranch.

New Mexico Fan's Evan looks at how the Isotopes' roster is shaping up.

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