Spring Training Review: Learning about the 2013 Dodgers
The Dodgers wrapped up the first week of Spring Training with a 4-4-2 record.
While overall wins and losses don’t really matter much in Spring Training, the Kansas City Royals have the best record so far.
That’s not to say that there aren’t developing stories to follow in the preseason.
Off-season acquisitions Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu each made their Dodger debuts. Luis Cruz has solidified his case for the starting third base spot with a .444 batting average, two home runs and five RBIs. Several pitchers have made strong showings including veterans Kevin Gregg and Mark Lowe, and Matt Kemp made his long awaited return to the Dodgers lineup.
Here’s a look at the first week of Spring Training and some of each game’s highlights:
White Sox 9, Dodgers 0; Saturday, Feb. 23
It was not a good start for Dodgers pitching as Clayton Kershaw, Ronald Belisario and Stephen Fife were lit up for five runs in the first five innings.
Most of the Dodgers regulars started, but only Andre Ethier collected a hit. Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig made his Dodgers debut going 1-for-2 with a double.
Dodgers 2, White Sox 2 (F/9); Sunday, Feb. 24
Sunday afternoon would feature the highly anticipated Dodgers debuts of off-season pickups Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Neither would disappoint.
Greinke pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts, and Ryu added a scoreless inning.
Luis Cruz hit his first home run of the spring, and the Dodgers received 5.1 scoreless innings of relief from Josh Wall, Matt Palmer, Stephen Ames, and Juan Abreu.
Dodgers 7, Cubs 6; Monday, Feb. 25
The Dodgers battled back from a 6-2 deficit after Chad Billingsley and Chris Capuano struggled mightily in their spring debuts, surrendering six runs in 4.0 innings of work.
In the 5th inning the Dodgers made their comeback, collecting a series of walks and balks.
The game-tying and go-ahead runs were driven in by Matt Wallach (son of third base coach Tim Wallach) and Omar Luna, two guys probably not in line for a spot on the big league roster.
Dodgers 8, Giants 8 (F/9); Tuesday, Feb. 26
Josh Beckett pitched two scoreless innings for the Dodgers, striking out three, in his spring debut.
Alex Castellanos homered in his bid for a backup outfielder spot. Skip Schumaker and non-roster invitee Jeremy Moore each drove in a pair of runs as well.
Poor pitching from the rest of the bullpen did-in the Dodgers who gave up an 8-4 lead in the ninth inning, with Kelvin De La Cruz and Gregory Infante being the main culprits.
Dodgers 11, Cubs 7; Wednesday, Feb. 27
It was all about the role players as Alfredo Amezaga, Jerry Hairston, and Brian Barden led the offense.
Six Dodgers relievers combined for seven scoreless innings, led by Matt Magill’s five strikeouts in two innings.
Dodgers 10, Angels 8; Thursday, Feb. 28
Clayton Kershaw scuffled, but struck out seven batters in three innings. The Dodgers offense continued its prolific pace, led by Luis Cruz’s second home run of the spring.
Multi-RBI games from Mark Ellis, Elian Herrera, and Amezaga (who is also making a strong case for a backup outfield spot) aided the Dodgers in their efforts to topple the Angels.
Ted Lilly made his spring debut, pitching two innings.
Josh Wall continued his strong Spring, and non-roster invitee Peter Moylan finally had a strong showing, pitching a scoreless inning, while striking out two batters.
Angels 16, Dodgers 8
Padres 7, Dodgers 5; Friday, March 1
Overall, a bad day for the Dodgers.
Ryu made his first start as a Dodger and was promptly greeted by a Josh Hamilton home run. Ryu pitched two innings, striking out three, while giving up two runs on Hamilton’s blast.
The Dodgers defense committed four errors, which led to seven runs (none earned), given up by Matt Palmer in the third inning.
Luis Cruz and Yasiel Puig each had a pair of RBIs and Dee Gordon stole two bases in the loss.
In the Dodgers’ other game, against the Padres, Matt Kemp made his spring debut going 0-for-2.
Zack Greinke struggled in his second start of the spring, giving up two runs in three innings. Dodgers’ top pitching prospect Zach Lee made his Dodgers debut, giving up two runs in one inning of work, while striking out two as well.
Mariners 9, Dodgers 5; Saturday, March 2
As I said before, Spring Training records ultimately mean absolutely nothing, so don’t lend too much stock to Seattle’s league best 10 pre-season wins.
That being said, it was another rough day for both Chris Capuano and Chad Billingsley who gave up five runs in 5.1 innings of work Saturday.
Ronald Belisario, Brandon League, and J.P. Howell showed how dominant the bullpen can be by striking out seven batters in 2.2 innings.
Dodgers 5, Indians 1; Sunday, March 3
Josh Beckett continued to impress, pitching three scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
Yasiel Puig hit a go-ahead three-run homer, his first of the Spring.
Mark Lowe, Josh Wall, and Juan Abreu added to their solid preseasons, while Peter Moylan continued to right the ship with two strikeouts in a scoreless inning.
The Dodgers will have games against the Indians, Mariners, Padres, and Rockies this week. Thursday’s match-up against the Texas Rangers will be broadcast on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.