The Los Angeles Dodgers will officially begin Spring Training on Friday, Feb. 19, when pitchers and catchers descend on Camelback Ranch. Their first workout is scheduled for Saturday, with position players arriving by Feb. 24, and the club’s first fill-squad workout taking place the next day.
The Dodgers will have just over one week with their full roster before opening Cactus League play on March 3 against Camelback Ranch co-tenant Chicago White Sox. At present time, Los Angeles will have 21 non-roster invitees participating in big league camp this year.
As is generally the case, a handful of players have already made appearances and/or are regulars at the club’s Spring Training facility in Glendale, Ariz.
Among them are Yasmani Grandal, Kenta Maeda, Brandon McCarthy and Justin Turner.
As translated by Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Maeda threw a bullpen session, with Grandal catching, on Tuesday:
Maeda threw a 30-pitch bullpen session today, according to this report. Grandal caught. https://t.co/nfthKfJBwZ
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 17, 2016
Late last month Grandal said he’s spent the offseason rehabbing at Camelback Ranch after undergoing surgery to repair the AC joint in his non-throwing shoulder. He expects to make a full recovery in time for Opening Day on April 4.
As for Maeda, he arrived this week from his native Japan. The soon-to-be-28-year-old signed an eight-year, $25 million contract with the Dodgers in January. The relatively low guaranteed salary is related to “irregularities” cropping up a physical Maeda took.
Both he and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman expressed confidence in the elbow not being an issue moving forward. Maeda can earn just shy of $100 million over the lifetime of the contract by triggering various incentives.
Maeda was 97-67 with a 2.39 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and averaged 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings in eight seasons with the Hiroshima Carp. Clayton Kershaw and Grandal were among those who spoke about the right-hander with enthusiasm.
Though, Kershaw did note Maeda’s biggest challenge will be in adjusting to pitching every fifth day.