Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dodger Spring Training Notes - March 20, 2013

Hanley Ramirez -
From the Dodgers -

LOS ANGELES DODGERS (9-13-3) vs. Kansas City Royals (17-6-1)
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 – 1:05 p.m. | Surprise Stadium
RHP Aaron Harang (1-0, 10.00) vs. RHP Wade Davis (2-0, 0.00)
Spring Game 26/Road Game 13
TV: None | Radio: None

DODGER ROYALTY: The Dodgers take on the Royals for the second and final time this spring after defeating Kansas City, 8-1, on March 15 in Glendale. The clubs haven’t met during the regular season since 2005 and the Royals have the upper hand in the all-time series, 4-2. In case you’re counting, Opening Day against the Giants is just 12 days away!

         On the back fields at 1:00 p.m., Zack Greinke, Brandon League and J.P. Howell will all pitch in minor league games. Greinke is expected to throw around 45 pitches.

COSTLY VICTORY: Congratulations are in order for Dodger shortstop Hanley Ramirez and minor league right-handed pitcher Angel Castro on the Dominican Republic’s undefeated run to the World Baseball Classic title, capped off with a 3-0 win over Puerto Rico last night. Ramirez went 1-for-2 in the championship game before he was removed with an apparent thumb injury. He is expected back in Arizona this afternoon and will have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. He finished the eight-game tournament by going 5-for-22 with two homers and three RBI.

         With Ramirez traveling and Dee Gordon out of the lineup with an ankle injury, Luis Cruz will make his first start of the spring at shortstop today. Last year, Cruz appeared in 24 games (23 starts) at shortstop, posting a .981 fielding percentage and committing just two errors in 205.1 innings.

BIRTHDAY BOY: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy birthday to Pat Corrales, who is in his first season with the Dodgers as a special advisor to the GM. Corrales was the first Major League manager of Mexican-American descent and managed for nine years in the big leagues with the Rangers (1978- 80), Phillies (1982-83) and Indians (1983-87) following a nine-year playing career as a catcher.

FEELS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY: The Dodgers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead yesterday with Yasiel Puig and Jerry Hairston Jr. hitting back-to-back first-inning homers and Chris Capuano delivered 5.2 strong innings as Los Angeles downed Oakland, 7-1, at Camelback Ranch. In addition to Puig and Hairston, Juan Uribe and Skip Schumaker added multi-hit games as the Dodger offense finished the game with 13 hits, including five for extra bases. The Dodger bullpen of Mark Lowe (1.1 IP), J.P. Howell (1.0 IP) and Brandon League (1.0 IP) was equally as impressive, allowing just two baserunners (hit, walk) to close out the game with 3.1 scoreless innings.

         After yesterday’s 13-hit barrage, the Dodgers now top National League clubs with a .288 team batting average and a .352 team on-base percentage.

         Los Angeles also leads the NL with 32 steals, led by league leader Dee Gordon’s seven stolen bases.

LET’S CALL IT AN EVEN .500:  After drawing comparisons to Bo Jackson and Mark McGwire, Yasiel Puig continued to be the talk of camp yesterday by going 4-for-4 with two runs scored, a stolen base, a triple, a homer and two RBI, finishing a double shy of the cycle. Puig is batting an even .500 this spring, tops among National Leaguers, and also ranks among the league’s best in runs scored (13, T-3rd), hits (23, 2nd), total bases (37, 4th), stolen bases (4, T-4th), slugging percentage (.804, 2nd) and on-base percentage (.489, 4th).

ON THE HILL: Aaron Harang will make his fourth start of the spring today against the Royals after last pitching on Friday against the Padres. Harang allowed five runs (four earned) in 4.0 innings in that outing and has gone 1-0 with a 10.00 ERA in his three Cactus League starts. Last season, Harang posted a career-low 3.61 ERA while going 10-10 in 31 starts with the Dodgers.

         Today’s scheduled relievers, Ronald Belisario, Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen and Kevin Gregg, will go back-to-back and pitch tomorrow in a simulated game against Carl Crawford and Tim Federowicz at Camelback Ranch.

TUCSON-OLOGY:  On Monday, the Dodgers held their annual Tucson-ology draft to determine who would make the trip to Tucson tomorrow to play in the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation benefit game against the Cubs. The lucky winners were Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Mark Ellis, A.J. Ellis, Nick Punto, Skip Schumacher, Juan Uribe, Alex Castellanos and Stephen Fife.

         This will mark the Dodgers’ third annual benefit game in Tucson dating to 2011, when the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks played a similar benefit game in Tucson with all proceeds going to the Tucson Together Fund. In addition, The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, in partnership with the Diamondbacks, dedicated a Dodgers Dreamfield in Oro Valley, AZ, on a field that was re-named in memory of Christina-Taylor Green.

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