Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dodger Spring Training Notes - February 23, 2013


From the Dodgers -

CHICAGO WHITE SOX (0-0) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (0-0)
Saturday, February 23, 2013 – 1:05 p.m., Camelback Ranch – Glendale
RHP Dylan Axelrod vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw
Spring Game 1/Home Game 1

START ME UP: Today the Dodgers begin their 40-game exhibition schedule as they host the White Sox at Camelback Ranch – Glendale at 1:05 pm MT. Manager Don Mattingly has scheduled seven pitchers to throw in the game. Left-handed starter Clayton Kershaw will be followed by Ronald Belisario, Stephen Fife and Matt Magill in addition to non-roster invitees Kelvin De La Cruz, Gregory Infante and Mark Lowe…days until Opening Day: 37!

Minor league left-handed pitcher Victor Garate will be available to pitch and will be wearing uniform number 95.

The club will play 36 games in Arizona before playing its final four exhibition games in the greater Los Angeles area against the Angels and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

On Monday, Feb. 25 the Dodgers will play host to the Cubs at 1:05 p.m. MT and Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will be in the booth to call the club’s first televised game on PRIME TICKET. Of the seven televised Cactus League games between PRIME TICKET (four broadcasts) and KCAL (three broadcasts), Scully will be on air on Feb. 25 vs. CHC (PRIME), Feb. 28 vs. LAA (PRIME), March 7 vs. TEX (PRIME), March 17 vs. MIL (KCAL), March 18 vs. ARI (PRIME) and March 26 vs. COL (KCAL).

KERSH-AWESOME: Today, starter Clayton Kershaw will toe the rubber for Los Angeles. The left-hander will attempt to become the first pitcher to win three consecutive Major League ERA titles since Greg Maddux accomplished the feat from 1993-95 as a member of the Braves.

While Kershaw finished second in the NL Cy Young voting in 2012, he picked up one of baseball’s most prestigious honors this offseason with the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, founded Kershaw’s Challenge, a charitable organization that encourages people to make a difference by giving back to at-risk children and communities in need. The charity has provided assistance to a variety of organizations, including to its cornerstone charity, “Arise Africa,” which helped the Kershaws build and now sustain an orphanage for children in Lusaka, Zambia called “Hope’s Home.”

PITCHING PREVIEW: Pitching has traditionally been a strength of the Dodger organization and last season, the club ranked third in the Majors with both a 3.34 team ERA and a .238 opponents’ batting average.

Last season, Ronald Belisario tied for the Major League lead with eight wins as a reliever (Rex Brothers and Nate Jones), going 8-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his team-leading 68 relief appearances. The right-hander also led the club with 71.0 innings pitched and his eight wins were the most by a Dodger reliever since Guillermo Mota’s eight in 2004.

Stephen Fife made five starts for the Dodgers in 2012, posting a 0-2 record with a 2.70 ERA (8 ER/26.2 IP). The right-hander was recalled on July 17 and made his Major League debut that night against Philadelphia, allowing one run on four hits in 6.0 innings

Right-hander Matt Magill started 26 games at Double-A Chattanooga and posted an 11-8 record with a 3.78 ERA in 2012. The Simi Valley native held right-handed hitters to a .202 batting average and recorded career highs in starts, innings pitched (146.1) and strikeouts (168).

INTO THE SWING OF THINGS: The Dodger lineup today features World Baseball Classic participants Adrian Gonzalez and Luis Cruz of Team Mexico and Hanley Ramirez of Team Dominican Republic. The trio is scheduled to stay in the game longer than the rest of the lineup in order to prepare for the WBC, which kicks off on March 2.

The Dodgers will face Team Mexico in an exhibition game on March 6 at 1:05 p.m. at Camelback Ranch – Glendale.

Currently, Team Italy is training at Camelback Ranch – Glendale and Dodger infielder Nick Punto will suit up for the Italians during the WBC. In addition to Cruz, Gonzalez, Punto and Ramirez, reliever Ronald Belisario will lace ‘em up for Team Venezuela.

HI, MY NAME IS: Skip Schumaker, who is starting in center field and batting sixth today, will make his first start in Spring Training for the Blue Crew. The utility man hit .276 in 107 games, appearing in all three outfield positions and second base for the Cardinals last season. The California native had spent his entire Major League career (2005-2012) with St. Louis.

COULD BE LEGENDARY: Today, Dodger alumni Ron Cey, Tim Leary, Fernando Valenzuela, Maury Wills and Steve Yeager will help celebrate a new season of Cactus League play at Camelback Ranch - Glendale’s inaugural Legends Weekend. Former greats from both the Dodgers (today) and White Sox (tomorrow) franchises will be on hand to sign autographs and greet fans from 11:30 am-12:30 pm before being introduced in pregame ceremonies.

YOU SEE THIS FACE?: Dodger center fielder Matt Kemp advanced to the finals of MLB Network’s #FaceofMLB contest on Twitter by defeating Atlanta’s Jason Heyward in a vote. In next week’s finals, which will run from Monday through Friday, Kemp will face off with Cincinnati’s Joey Votto in MLB Network’s bracket to decide who the Face of MLB is. The current bracket matchups can be viewed here.

SPRING TRAINING TRANSACTIONS

Feb. 21    Added C Matt Wallach to Major League camp. Reassigned C Eliezer Alfonzo to minor league camp.

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