As the start of the regular season draws closer, the Los Angeles Dodgers struggled to win games this week, playing to three ties. Fortunately, Spring Training games don’t exactly dictate how the regular season will go and unfortunately for the NL West, the Dodgers appear to be getting healthy.
Here’s a look at the news and rumors around the division:
New addition Bronson Arroyo, whom the Dodgers were rumored to be interested in signing, was forced to miss a Spring Training start for the first time in his career. The 37-year-old is dealing with a bulging disc, which an MRI revealed is the same disc that gave him trouble in 2008 and 2011. Arroyo believes he’ll be able to recover in time for his next start.
Arroyo wasn’t the only Diamondbacks player who was affected by an injury. Power-hitter first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was temporarily shut down with leg stiffness. He missed two days of action, but returned to the lineup on Saturday.
Similar to the Dodgers, the Rockies also have themselves a position battle among three of their utility players. Charlie Culberson, Paul Janish and Josh Rutledge are locked in a battle for a spot on the roster. Rutledge previously played shortstop for the Rockies in 2012 when Troy Tulowitzki was injured.
Janish, a non-roster invitee, has played with the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds, including 114 with the Reds in 2011. Rockies manager Walt Weiss acknowledged all three infielders have performed well and he expects to make a decision at the conclusion of camp.
Los Angeles Dodgers
While the Dodgers are still searching for the answer at second base, the outlook for their pitching rotation and outfield became a bit more clear in the latter stages of the week. Zack Greinke pitched off the mound in a simulated game, which included Matt Kemp as a hitter. Kemp would add hitting and running to first on Sunday and manager Don Mattingly said the center fielder is close to playing in a game.
Hanley Ramirez, who can become a free agent following the season, told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register that he’s open to moving to third base. Ramirez further went on to state that at this point in his career, his focus is on being a team player and winning.
San Diego Padres
The Padres sent four players down to the minor league on Sunday. Outfielder Yeison Asencio was sent to their Double-A affiliate and relievers Adys Portillo and Joe Ross were sent to the Padres minor league camp, along with outfielder Daniel Robertson.
As for pitching prospect Casey Kelly, he threw his fifth bullpen session on Sunday since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2013. Padres manager Bud Black stated a timetable for Kelly’s return hasn’t been set and the next step for the right-hander is facing live batters or a simulated game.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants appear to have pitchers who are at drastically different stages thus far. Tim Lincecum was happy with his latest performance, closer Sergio Romo has strategically avoided throwing his slider as he works on his changeup, meanwhile Ryan Vogelsong struggled against the Seattle Mariners as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 season.
Due to a back injury, second baseman Marco Scutaro has yet to make his spring debut. Manager Bruce Bochy said the second baseman has made “slow progress” as the 38-year-old has been able to get some swings in, but is still unsure when he’ll be able to play.
ICYMI: Here’s our Dodgers Nation Week In Review Video