Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wrapping up the first week of Dodgers' Spring Training

The Dodgers finished their first week of Spring Training with a 5-1-2 record, which obviously means they're going to the World Series.

Seriously, though, they had a solid week. Some players had solid weeks as well.


Andre Ethier has five hits in eight at-bats, including three extra base hits (double, triple, home run) and only one strikeout. He missed Saturday's game against the Mariners with back tightness, but it doesn't sound too serious.

Matt Kemp hit his first home run of the spring on Friday against the Mariners. He's 4-for-12, but also has six strikeouts. But there's no need to panic.

A surprise performer so far has been Josh Fields, who is 7-for-12 with two doubles, a triple and two RBI. Fields began his career as a member of the White Sox and spent 2010 with the Royals and 2011 with the Rockies' Triple-A team and Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese League. He's battling for a bench spot, but I don't think he's a legitimate option unless there is a rash of injuries.

Former Rockie Cory Sullivan also had himself a week, going 6-for-12 with a double, a home run (a grand slam against the White Sox on Saturday) and a team-leading six RBI. Like Fields, I don't expect Sullivan to make the squad, but he's playing well so far.

Alex Castellanos and Juan Rivera are tied with the team lead in home runs with two.


Chris Capuano had the best debut, pitching two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three.

Todd Coffey also appeared for two innings (in two outings) and like Capuano, struck out three hitters.

The bullpen trio of Scott Elbert, Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen has pitched six innings, given up five hits, three walks, struck out seven and, most importantly, have yet to allow a run.

It'll be interesting to see how some guys continue to perform before the first round of cuts is made.


The Dodgers signed Jarrad Page to a minor-league deal. If that name sounds familiar, you're probably a UCLA, Chief, Patriot, Eagle or Viking fan. He is the free safety who attended UCLA and was drafted in the seventh round by Kansas City in the 2006 NFL Draft.

He participated in the Dodgers' open tryout on March 1, a tryout that also resulted in the signing of former Dodger prospect Blake Johnson and former Blue Jay draft pick Brandon Mims.

Page was signed as an outfielder and was drafted three times before he decided to pursue football. He's 27 and getting a late start, so I wouldn't hold my breath hoping for him to be something. He's more likely to be picked up to play safety again than he is to pick up a bat in a Major League game.


Prospective Dodger owners are touring Camelback Ranch this week prior to the new owner being selected in less than a month.

Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times has the lowdown:
"(Steve) Cohen is widely considered one of three favorites to buy the team, along with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and a group led by Magic Johnson and veteran baseball executive Stan Kasten.

Cohen has an estimated net worth of $8.3 billion and Kroenke an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion, according to Forbes.

The other candidates include Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney; a group led by New York media investor Leo Hindery and Southern California billionaire Tom Barrack; a group led by Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Los Angeles investor Tony Ressler; and Beverly Hills real estate developer Alan Casden."
So, it seems we're down to seven groups again. My money (and heart) is still on the Magic-Kasten group, but anything can happen right now.

I mean, Magic wouldn't have sold his minority stake in one of the most lucrative professional sports teams in the Lakers if he didn't feel he'd have a great shot of being part owner of the Dodgers, would he?

This whole saga should be determined in the next three weeks. It's been a long time coming for Dodger fans and it'll be nice to finally move on from the Frank McCourt era. Hopefully that means we'll get to move on from the Ned Colletti era, too.

Photo credits: SD Dirk, Flickr (Kemp), Rafael Amado Deras, Flickr (Johnson)

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