Last week, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally started to play Spring Training games. As of Sunday, the team has already played in five games and within this short amount of time, the organization has seen a variety of performances from every aspect of the roster.
Dodgers Grade of the Week: B
The good: Heading into Spring Training, the Dodgers hadn’t decided who their fifth starter in the rotation would be. Josh Beckett had a great first start back since his season-ending surgery last July. He pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three and allowing just one hit. With Beckett feeling healthy, this is a promising sign for the Dodgers as they look to solidify their starting rotation.
Another hole the Dodgers were looking to find some answers about involve their second base situation. This week, it’s been rumored that Dee Gordon is the “front runner” for the starting second baseman job and Alex Guerrero will fine tune his fielding in Triple A. If this is true, Gordon would get the first shot at holding down the regular job. However, manager Don Mattingly hinted at using a possible platoon and it could consist of Justin Turner/Chone Figgins and Gordon.
Yasiel Puig is also looking good despite battling some shoulder inflammation, which has put him on a limited throwing program. He’s been able to play in four of the five games so far and in nine plate appearances has already driven in three runs.
Young outfielder Joc Pederson proved why he’s considered a top prospect this week. In Friday’s win, the 21 year old hit a two-run homer giving the team a 2-0 lead against the White Sox. Young reliever Seth Rosin had an impressive outing in his first outing, pitching two full innings and striking out five batters. Although Pederson and Rosin still lack experience, this kind of play is what the organization is thrilled to watch unravel.
The not-so-good: Carl Crawford was a little bit of a mess in the first game with a few crucial fielding errors out in left field as well as an embarrassing attempt at sliding into second. After the game, Crawford was experiencing tightness in his leg which prevented him from being in the lineup for the rest of the week. With Puig still not 100 percent healthy and Kemp not exactly ready for the regular season, this isn’t the kind of performance the Dodgers want to see from one of their outfielders.
Clayton Kershaw also posted some uncharacteristic numbers in his debut. In two innings, he gave up five hits and three runs while striking out two batters. Dan Haren also had a subpar spring debut. Showing some issues with his command early on, he gave up a total of three hits in two innings and allowed a run to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Additionally, the week began with Dodgers president Stan Kasten being forced to clear up as well as clean up Zack Greinke’s harsh comments about having zero excitement for the Australian Opening Series games. Following these comments, Greinke threw all of four pitches before being taken out of his first start wit a mild right calf strain. This injury will also prevent Greinke from making his next Spring Training start.
Overall: The Dodgers are 2-2 so far in spring training with a tie. Their record is secondary to the fact that the Dodgers are already coming closer to deciding who’ll be their fifth starting pitcher and who’ll be their starting second basemen. Injuries and starting pitching were a slight issue this week, but as for the pitchers, Spring Training outings shouldn’t too much of an indication of what’s in store for the regular season.
ICYMI: Here’s our Dodgers Nation Week In Review Video