While the Los Angeles Dodgers began Spring Training with an abundance of starting pitchers, injuries quickly ate away at the depth on the pitching staff. Soon after, position players were snakebit and the Dodgers were facing a multitude of questions.
One was answered as Corey Seager appears to have recovered from a left knee sprain that’s kept him out of a Major League game since March 11. Seager participated in Minor League games on the backfields at Camelback Ranch, and is scheduled to play in Thursday’s Freeway Series opener.
However, the Dodgers aren’t as fortunate with Brett Anderson, Andre Ethier and Howie Kendrick among those likely to begin the regular season on the disabled list. While injuries regularly dominated headlines out of Spring Training, there were other newsworthy aspects from camp.
Some of the DodgerBlue.com staff shared what their biggest concern, surprise or takeaway was from the Dodgers’ time at Camelback Ranch.
Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015)
Even though Spring Training statistics are to be thrown aside, Austin Barnes and Chase Utley were both pleasant surprises; albeit for slightly different reasons.
Utley batted .319/.360/.532 with five doubles, one triple, one home run and five RBIs in 50 plate appearances over 16 games. He appears to be a spry 37-year-old, and Kendrick’s calf strain make Utley all the more valuable.
His re-signing could easily finish as one of the more subtle, but beneficial offseason decisions. As for Barnes, he also swung the bat well, and he’s tied with Rob Segedin for the team lead with four home runs.
However, more impressively, Barnes played a steady second base in four games (29.1 innings there). The natural instincts manager Dave Roberts spoke of were apparent, and the versatility will suit Barnes and the club well.
Jeff Spiegel (@JeffSpiegel):
While injuries is the obvious answer here, for the sake of variety I’ll go a different direction and say that my biggest takeaway has been the lack of drama surrounding Yasiel Puig.
For all the hoopla about injuries, no person aside from Clayton Kershaw is as important to the 2016 Dodgers in my opinion as Puig. And with that in mind, the lack of negativity and rumors surrounding him this spring (once he was formally cleared from bar incident) has been refreshing.
Although Puig’s numbers aren’t eye-popping (.289/.318/.474 slash line with one home run), they’re fine enough to be hopeful that 2016 Puig might be closer to the 2014 version, as opposed to the 2015 version.
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