The Dodgers lost today to the Indians, 6-1 at Camelback Ranch, their spring training record now stands at 13-19-1. Chad Billingsley threw three innings in his final tuneup before the regular season, he allowed two runs on two hits, walking two and striking out three. Blake Hawksworth was impressive again throwing two scoreless innings and striking out three. In his 10 1/3 innings this spring, he has struck out nine and walked none.
Hawksworth has secured his opening day bullpen spot, and will likely be joined by Mike MacDougal. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com the final 25 man roster is set, barring injury, with one exception. The only spot left is the final bullpen spot, between Scott Elbert and non-roster invitee Lance Cormier. According to Gurnick:
Meanwhile, the final bullpen spot will apparently go to left-hander Scott Elbert, with one caveat. Lance Cormier, the only other contender after Ramon Troncoso was optioned to Minor League camp Sunday morning, was asked to accept a Minor League assignment, but he said he told the club he would not.
Cormier has an out in his contract starting Sunday, but he said he was not yet a free agent and that “the ball is in their court. I signed here to pitch in the Major Leagues,” said Cormier, who pitched all last season with Tampa Bay, making 60 appearances with a 3.92 ERA.
Juan Castro, a contender for the last utility spot, was also told by the club that, barring an injury, he won’t make the team. He will remain in Arizona, working with the Minor Leaguers, and his agent has permission to look for a Major League job elsewhere.
So it looks like I only missed on 2 of my guesses on the final 25 man roster earlier this week. But I will gladly be wrong if it means Ivan De Jesus makes the roster over Castro and I am not convinced Jay Gibbons spot is secure. I could see the Dodgers keep AJ Ellis in the short term so Gibbons can get more at bats in AAA. However this will all change beginning the second week of April as players such as Casey Blake and Jon Garland return from injury.
The Dodgers are on their way back to LA and will face the Angels at Dodger Stadium tomorrrow night at 7:10 pm PT. Opening day is so close I can almost feel it, is anyone else as excited as I am to watch Clayton Kershaw wipe the Giant smugs off of those misfits from the team up North?