Grade Of The Week: Pederson Impresses, Progress Made With Injuries
This week, the Dodgers went 2-4-2 in their second week of Spring Training games. With only eight games remaining before they travel to Australia for their Opening Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team still has some business to take care of despite impressive performances from Joc Pederson, Seth Rosin and a better performance from Clayton Kershaw
Dodgers Grade of the Week: B-
The good: Starting with prospects, Rosin came into the game last Monday to relieve Kershaw and pitched three scoreless innings, including three strikeouts, displaying his ability to work his way out of tough situations. Additionally, top pitching prospect Zach Lee had a great start on Friday dishing out two scoreless innings. Don Mattingly even sung the starter’s praise, saying that the 22 year old looked like he belonged when he was out there.
Now onto to the shining prospect of this spring, Pederson. The 21-year-old played in both split squad games on Saturday and nearly homered twice in the night game against the Seattle Mariners. Many say he’s still young and with an already crowded outfield, there isn’t a spot on the roster, yet.
Aside from the prospects, Scott Van Slyke hit a grand slam this week, Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched a decent four innings giving up two runs and Hanley Ramirez went yard on Friday. The Dodgers also earned some bonus points off the field this week thanks to Ramirez. On Sunday, Ramirez dedicated his time (and his instagram account) to messing with Juan Uribe in the clubhouse. The best video of the day involves the shortstop hiding in Uribe’s locker and scaring the living daylight out of him.
The not-so-good: The inevitable injury report is where the not-so-good of the week will begin. Beginning with Zack Greinke, his not-so-mild calf strain is preventing him from making the trip to Australia. His injury is timely considering it came shortly after his harsh comments about seeing no reason to be excited for the trip (insert conspiracy theory here). Regardless, this leaves Kershaw and Ryu as the two pitchers making the starts in Australia. Although Kershaw had a solid five-inning outing on Sunday, his second start last Monday was far from the ace’s standards.
The injury log also of course includes Kemp who was initially rumored to be able to play in a game “soon”, but it was confirmed that he won’t be traveling with the team Down Under. Additionally, prospect Ross Stripling found out earlier this week that he’ll need Tommy John surgery and will be out for the rest of the season
On top of the injury report, the organization still hasn’t made a clear decision about who their starting second baseman will be with Australia just 10 days away. Fans were starting to believe that Dee Gordon was going to be the sure fire guy with rumors that Alex Guerrero is going to start in the minors. However, Mattingly stated this week that there is still competition for the spot and maybe Guerrero’s grand slam on Wednesday had something to do with it. Ultimately, the squad needs to come to the decision sooner rather than later.
Overall: As mentioned above, a few prospects have been extremely impressive and fun to watch this spring training and heading into the last week of games at Camelback Ranch, decisions are on the horizon. Once Kemp and Greinke’s injuries have subsided and Mattingly finally announces his starting second baseman, things will start looking much more promising heading into the regular season.
ICYMI: Here’s our Dodgers Nation Week In Review Video