Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Addresses Several Key Points To Open Spring Training

Pitchers and catchers were in session officially on Tuesday at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. Spring is in the air – and with spring training’s arrival – Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts had plenty to talk about.

With lots to address, let’s get to some of those action items. Every step of the way, you can expect small hints to be dropped from here by the Dodgers’ skipper. Many times these are the vision of the organization and Roberts is simply the man delivering the message. As time goes on, it’s important to read between the lines and see how fluid situations of a ball club develop.

All of it plays a role of importance on how a season’s storyline plays out full-scale.

The Catching Position

With this update, it seems like the coaching staff will evaluate who the starter will be at the beginning of the regular season. Moreover, we have a little bit of a position battle going on between Austin Barnes and Russell Martin. If neither guy gains an edge in March at the plate, expect whoever is handling the pitching staff to get the lion’s share of work. With Roberts stating ‘time will tell’, you can expect that this is truly wide-open at the current time.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen, and you can read more about the details here. For a short version of it, Ken Gurnick tweeted a few details for us.

One thing that was kind of throwback neat? Kershaw threw the bullpen to Martin – a reunion that has almost been a decade in the making. Moreover, it will be interesting to see what kind of comfort level redevelops between Kershaw and Martin. The Opening Day start will go to Kershaw. Equally important – he will probably pick his catcher for that March 28th day. This could be an inclination that even if he’s not the starter, Martin will be in the lineup on Opening Day. It’s a situation worth keeping an eye on if Martin catches Kershaw in each spring outing.

Cody Bellinger’s Position

If you’re like me and had illusions of Cody Bellinger playing center in 2018, it doesn’t sound like that is in the plans right now. Roberts said that Bellinger will get work in center, but that is A.J. Pollock’s spot. Bellinger will see routine work in right field and at first base, which figures to be where he splits time in 2019. Still, it’s important to remember that one year ago; the Dodgers said Bellinger wouldn’t be playing outfield at all.

We know how that turned out. Expect Bellinger to settle in as the right fielder, spelling Max Muncy and David Freese at first base.

[button link=”” type=”big” color=”pink”] Dave Roberts: The 2019 Dodgers have ‘no weaknesses’.[/button]

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  1. Roberts being his diplomatic self, but I don’t see Martin getting many more starts than Barnes this season. Martin will be 36 on Friday and has almost 13,000 innings as a catcher. At an average of 15 pitches per inning plus 8 warm up pitches per inning, Martin has squatted approximately 300,000 times in regular season games (then there are minor league games caught, post season, spring training, etc). Barnes and Martin will likely get around the same number of games as catcher this season. I think you are reading too much into Martin/Kershaw reunion and first bull pen session. At his point in their careers, Barnes is a better pitch framer and blocker than Martin, and has several years of calling and catching pitches for Kershaw. I do not see Kershaw embarrassing Barnes by picking Martin as his personal catcher.

  2. no wonder Dodger players don’t perform better…..musical positions… one day and sit for three…..what happened to the hired for a position until you lose it or traded……thought the bench was versatile part time players who spelled the starters……why do we need a player to play a different position every day…….how can you get in a hitting (groove) if you are unsure of your playing status everyday or the manager is mad at you

    • Agree with you 1,000% !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!These musical chairs position changing daily is ludicrous! If Bellinger cannot be put at his normal Gold Glove 1st base position then let him play RF,WHICH IMHO IS A POWER POSITION and let Verdugo play some LF or be sent elsewhere to fill a need…preferably another RH bat on a team that with Muncy AND Verdugo , is still too LH heavy.

  3. martin is just a bandaid and anything he does will be better than barnes…..he is more of a threat……what about the big hole at second and the six players who can play second…..and the outfield, now have a centerfielder so that gives us three first baseman and now no RF or LF only subs and with that glaring picture, one big priced bat won’t solve the situation and Kershaw production and jensen production has fallen off in critical situations……….mmmmmmmmmm…… problems, but HOPEFULLY some players will arise to the calls