Spring Training is officially underway for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and now Opening Day of the 2019 season is less than three weeks away. Much of last year’s roster returns, including David Freese, who is entering his 11th Major League season and first full year with the organization.
Acquired at the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline last season, he was instrumental in helping the club advance to their second consecutive World Series. The Dodgers held a club option on Freese for the 2019 season, which they declined but immediately re-signed him.
Now Freese figures to play a more prominent role against left-handed pitching. Though he’s only been with the Dodgers for one of their two losses in the World Series, he urged teammates to turn the page and look ahead, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“It’s key not to look at losing the last two [World Series], that can wear you down,” said David Freese, a midseason addition last year and one of only two current Dodgers (Joe Kelly is the other) who own a championship ring. “Kind of wash that and turn the page and look toward 2019. We’re stacked. We love who we have right now. The past two years are on everybody’s minds, but we’ve got to look forward.”
Freese, who has appeared in the postseason on five different occasions throughout his decade-long career, is well aware of how disappointing it is to fall short in October.
The 36-year-old is keeping a positive mindset and hopes the message resonates to his fellow teammates. He was lauded for his work in the Dodgers clubhouse last season and is primed to take on an increased leadership role following the retirement of Chase Utley.