Good news on the Vicente Padilla surgery. Doctors found what they anticipated and an injury that has been bothering him for years is hopefully now fixed. Don Mattingly thinks Padilla could begin throwing as soon as 3 to 4 weeks and he will rejoin his fellow Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on Friday.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for since last fall is less than 48 hours away. “Play Ball” will finally be heard at Dodger camp as they begin the road to the 2011 season with a pair of split squad games. First up are the (Brace Yourselves) Defending World Series Champion Giants, it makes me want to throw up all over my keyboard just typing that phrase and I promise Dodger Nation it will be the last time I utter those ugly 5 words on this site. Non-Roster Invitee, 33 year old Tim Redding will get the start. Redding has more career starts, 144, than any other non-roster invitee, and has twice won 10 or more games most recently with the Nationals in 2008, but is still a long-shot to make the club, depending on injuries.
The Dodgers will face the Angels in their other contest with Hiroki Kuroda getting the start. He will be followed by 2010 Dodger Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Lasorda’s Lair favorite pitching prospect, Rubby De La Rosa and then Lance Cormier whose chances of making the opening day roster improve with each injury, per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com. Oh how I look forward to Saturday and being able to actually discuss player performances in games and not speculating on who deserves what spot, or who will or will not have a good season etc…
Dodger news/notes from around the net:
- Jesse Sanchez and Ken Gurnick at MLB.com report on Lasorda’s Lair favorite pitching prospect Rubby De La Rosa opening eyes at Camp
- Albert Aguilera of Bleacher Report speculates about Albert Pujols donning Dodger Blue in 2012 , as much as I would love to see this, with everyone on the roster except about 6 or 7 guys NOT under contract next season, the Dodgers will have their hands extremely full during the off-season. 1 great piece of news from the article is Nomar Garciapara, Manny Ramirez, Andruw Jones, Jason Schmidt and Juan Pierre, supposedly will no longer be paid by the Dodgers after this season, clearing $40 million of much needed contract space, from 5 guys no longer wearing Dodger uniforms.
- Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports thinks a slimed down and motivated Matt Kemp will be an MVP candidate this year for a contending Dodger team. Let’s also remember that Kemp get’s paid next year based on how he performs this year, I think I speak for all of Dodger Nation when I say that him realizing his potential this year would be a glorious sight to behold. He also had this to say about his feelings of his new manager and it is classic: “Donnie B’s got a little swagger. You’d see him when he was on first base, playing for the Yankees, up to bat, he had swag. Anybody that got swag, man, he can be my homeboy.” Oh the joys of the modern athlete!
- T.J. Simers over at L.A. Times has a great piece about Don Mattingly’s upbeat and positive attitude as he heads into his first season as manager. Andre Ethier told ESPN’s Baseball Tonight when they visited Dodger camp yesterday that there is a totally new vibe at Camelback Ranch this year and it reminds him of Joe Torre’s first Spring Training, and we all know how that season went.
- Dylan Hernandez also at the L.A. Times discussed Jonathan Broxton and his efforts to put a horrific 2nd half of last season behind him. BTW if you are a Twitter fan I strongly recommend following @dylanohernandez terrific Dodger insight and good humor as well.
- Baseball America released it’s top 100 prospects list for 2011. 3 Dodgers made the list: Dee Gordon (26) this is the highest I have seen him on any prospect list, Zach Lee (89) how high will he be after he has a successful 2011 especially considering he cracked the top 100 prior to throwing his 1st professional pitch, Rubby De La Rosa (90) continuing his rocket ascent as a top prospect. He was not listed among the top pitchers by most Dodger sites prior to last season and now here he is breaking the top 100 on the most respected prospect site around. I’m telling you Rubby is legit he is definitely someone to keep a close eye on and I cannot wait to see him pitch in person. No word yet, but I really hope I get the chance to ask Matt Kemp if Rubby got “Swag” my opionion is he definitely got swag!
Enjoy the plethora of Dodger news. I am very encouraged by everything I am hearing coming out of camp, and that the Dodgers seem to be under the radar a little bit. I am off tomorrow, Mike Spell will be back to provide his Dodger insight and I will be back Saturday after the 1st 2 games with some real baseball being played on the field to discuss.
As always your comments are welcome and a great resource for us to determine what Lasorda’s Lair is presenting. If there is news or updates you would like to hear about just ask and we will do our best to provide it for you.