Recently on MLB Network, the Dodgers were featured in the 30 Clubs in 30 Days series. If you haven’t seen this feature before, it serves as a primer to get you ready for the season. When your team is featured, they’re basically king for the day. You’re brought up to speed with everything happening in the particular training camp and the mood surrounding the team. As I watched the Dodgers’ edition play out, the theme was easy to conclude. The Dodgers are on a mission with some lofty goals this season. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.
If you didn’t catch the episode, you’re in good shape. I’m going to recap it for you here.
John Smoltz opened up talking to Brian Kenny about the current Dodgers. He was complimentary of the organization on not saturating their top prospects to supplement the big league club with acquisitions. Smoltz feels that while the Dodgers are among deepest clubs in the big leagues, they could do more to support their starting pitching with quality bullpen help.
Corey Seager spoke to Kevin Millar on how training camp has been through the first week. This was a segment I paid close attention to. Seager is still rehabbing a sore right throwing elbow, something we recently discussed. The general statements from Seager is that he felt the World Series was fun, almost like he was a fan playing in the games. He also mentioned that the team is eager to get back on the field to compete as much as possible. The most interesting part of the segment was that he said he spent the off-season ‘getting healthy’. Taken at his word, maybe the arm doesn’t feel as bad as some speculation is alluding to.
Greg Amsinger spoke to Justin Turner near the batting cages. Turner said all the right things – but as always with Turner it was with a genuine smile. He complimented his teammates around him for ‘making him look good’. He also mentioned how beneficial it has been to have Cody Bellinger hit behind him. Turner felt game five of the World Series was the greatest game he’s ever been a part of, even if it didn’t have the desired outcome. That game went 10 innings, and Turner was a bug part of the team’s climb from an 11-8 late inning deficit. Turner also spoke about the incredible adjustments that Chris Taylor has made as a hitter. He feels it has made everyone in the lineup raise their level of preparation against opposing pitching.
Chris Taylor spoke with Kevin Millar about those very adjustments. He said can relate to Justin Turner, as they both bounced between the major leagues and AAA. He also compared himself as a hitter to Turner mechanically, as they both have the leg kick in the batter’s box. It wasn’t one thing that clicked personally for him. Hitting the ball in the air, getting an opportunity, taking a different approach at batting practice were all things that led to 2017’s great season.
The next segment had Kenley Jansen showing his four-seam grip to Amsinger. They laughed about how hard the Dodgers rode Jansen throughout the entire 2017 season. Jansen talked about how he manages this with bullpen and side work. He was asked if it’s ‘World Series or Bust’ in 2018, and commented that it’s just one game at a time.
The segment featuring Cody Bellinger was perhaps one of the best parts of the series. It was interesting to hear how his approach at the plate will be a bit different this season. I’m sure many fans are wondering how he will adjust to pitching, especially given his World Series performance. Bellinger struck out 17 times in just 28 at-bats in that series. In the cage, it certainly looks as though he is putting in the necessary work to overcome the pitching adjustments made to him. That is why this segment is so entertaining. Fans really get to see how players are progressing and what can be expected in the near future.
What to Expect
Just from what we’ve seen, it’s looking pretty good for Los Angeles.
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