On Tuesday pitchers and catchers finally reported to Spring Training in Glendale, Ariz. as the Dodgers continue to count down until Opening Day 2013 April 1 against the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Alfonzo Does Not Report
A report from Spring Training showed that non-roster catcher Eliezer Alfonzo did not report to Camelback Ranch alongside the rest of the Dodgers’ pitchers and catchers as he attended to a family matter.
Alfonzo, 34, last played in the Majors in 2011 with the Rockies, when he hit .267/.304/.320 with a home run and nine RBIs in 25 games.
He played last season in Mexico with the Diablos Rojos del Mexico of the Mexican Baseball League, where in 39 games he hit .361 with 15 home runs and 47 RBIs
Cruz Helping Ryu Adjust to America
Just when one wonders if Luis Cruz can do any more, he’s added cultural coach alongside his role at third base, helping left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu adjust to the culture in America.
Ryu is still learning English, a process that he will gradually pick up as his time in America progresses. For now though, it’s simple one-worded answers in English from the native South Korean.
He has conversed with Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo about the change in lifestyle that he’s about to encounter, and has admitted to being nervous and anxious about it.
Meanwhile, Cruz has downloaded an app that will allow him to translate text messages in to Korean dialect so that he could communicate easier with his teammate.
Ryu has reportedly lost eight pounds in 10 days since arriving in Arizona, and has also announced that he will not pitch for Team Korea in the World Baseball Classic, even if they should reach the semifinals.
Billingsley’s Elbow Feels Normal
With the Dodgers boasting eight pitchers, three must go. And relieving is not an option for Chad, who is expected to be one of the team’s five pitchers in its rotation come April.
As of November when Billingsley threw a simulated game, he was able to touch 94 mph on the speed gun.
He pitched as a reliever once in 2007.
Crawford Likes Opening Day Chances
But everything has been optimistic. Now the results are beginning to show.
Crawford, 31, is throwing from 90 feet and hitting off a tee at the moment, but hopes to face live hitting in the upcoming days.
He’s confident that his arm can hit the cutoff man, and if that’s what the Dodgers want to see, he knows he won’t disappoint for an Opening Day start.
As far as the pain in the elbow goes, it’s just muscle fatigue according to Crawford. But it’s not pain.
The team is expecting to pencil Crawford in as its lead-off hitter in the lineup.
Kershaw Not Talking Extension During Season
The player who the Dodgers must turn its attention to is Clayton Kershaw, who is in need of a contract extension. But it won’t happen during the season.
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti knows there is mutual interest in extending the former NL Cy Young winner, but Kershaw is more interested in living up to the expectations of being a baseball player.
He understands that with more money comes more responsibility.
It’s good news in the sense that it will not hamper Kershaw’s upcoming season, one in which he will have major hopes showered upon him by fans and experts alike.
Expect a deal to get done at the conclusion of the season, and quietly at that.