Roberts sees Puig as primary right fielder

With Pederson in center, players will compete for time in left

Roberts sees Puig as primary right fielder

PHOENIX -- There are enough outfielders on the Dodgers roster to platoon at any of the three spots, but manager Dave Roberts' perfect world apparently would have Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig playing regularly in center and right, respectively.

"We all know Yasiel as a defender; if he's out there he can impact a game on the defensive side," said Roberts. "Now you look at at-bat quality vs. right or left. If it's consistent, there should be no reason why he wouldn't be out there virtually every day. Yasiel is very motivated, he wants to do what's best for the club. I expect him to play a lot.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers trade Nuno to O's for Minor Leaguer

Dodgers trade Nuno to O's for Minor Leaguer

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Sunday traded of left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno to Baltimore for right-handed Minor League pitcher Ryan Moseley, a transaction that would open a roster spot for the anticipated signing of free-agent outfielder Franklin Gutierrez.

The Dodgers have not confirmed the Gutierrez signing.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kenta Maeda has a knack for pranking his interpreter

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Kenta Maeda has a knack for pranking his interpreter

In Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers have a reliable starter who went 16-11 with a 3.48 ERA in 2016, his first season with the club since coming over from Japan. Ever since introducing himself by hitting a homer in his first start with the Dodgers, it was evident he'd be a quality addition to the team.  

More than merely a consistent right-handed starter, however, Maeda brings one of those elusive intangibles to the Dodgers clubhouse: he's a masterful prankster.

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Kazmir, Ryu making strides in recovery

Pitchers throw live batting practice, eye rotation spots

Kazmir, Ryu making strides in recovery

PHOENIX -- Hyun-Jin Ryu and Scott Kazmir, pitchers with plenty to prove, each threw 25 pitches of live batting practice to Minor Leaguers on Sunday, taking significant steps in their attempted return to the Dodgers' starting rotation.

Ryu, bedeviled by shoulder and elbow operations, has pitched one Major League game in two years. But he said he was more comfortable and confident in his health now than at any time last year.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gagne preps for Classic with bullpen session

Gagne preps for Classic with bullpen session

PHOENIX -- Guest pitching instructor Eric Gagne on Sunday became Team Canada pitcher Eric Gagne when he took the mound for a bullpen session with Dodgers brass watching.

Technically, it wasn't a tryout for the comeback the 41-year-old Gagne is considering, although it was pretty impressive to Wynston Sawyer, the non-roster catcher who caught him.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kershaw gets 7th straight Opening Day nod for Dodgers

Ace lefty will tie Hall of Famers Sutton, Drysdale for LA franchise mark

Kershaw gets 7th straight Opening Day nod for Dodgers

PHOENIX -- Clayton Kershaw was named the Dodgers' Opening Day starter by manager Dave Roberts on Saturday, tying Kershaw with Don Drysdale and Don Sutton for the Los Angeles record with seven.

"It's really special company," Kershaw said when told he was in Hall of Fame company. "You take a little bit of pride in wanting to do it every year. I'm thankful to get to do it so long for the same team. Not a lot of people get to do that. It's pretty cool."

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Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers officially announce deal with Utley

Veteran infielder returns to club in a bench role

Dodgers officially announce deal with Utley

PHOENIX -- Chase Utley jokingly apologized to the media on Saturday for all the effusive comments from Dodgers teammates and club officials about his pending re-signing, which was made official on Saturday.

Manager Dave Roberts called Utley his favorite player ever. Clayton Kershaw said he would tell his son to play the game like Utley. Lockermate Corey Seager considers Utley his mentor. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he's never seen a player that is trying at all times to help win a game like Utley.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Greatest of his generation? Kershaw keeps rolling

Greatest of his generation? Kershaw keeps rolling

PHOENIX -- This is what we're seeing each time Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw takes the mound this season: One of the best ever.

After just nine seasons, that's where his career seems to be headed. Here's the coolest part of this. In the same way fans of an earlier generation told you what it was like to watch Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson, you can say you saw Kershaw.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gagne pondering comeback at age 41

2003 Cy Young winner is a guest instructor with Dodgers

Gagne pondering comeback at age 41

PHOENIX -- Former Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne is serving as a guest pitching instructor for the Dodgers this week, but he's also been on the mound with a comeback under consideration.

Gagne, 41, will pitch for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic this month after serving as the pitching coach for France in 2013. Gagne will continue training by throwing bullpen sessions when he's not working with Dodgers pitchers.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gonzalez has tendinitis, won't bat for 2 weeks

Elbow injury may keep Dodgers first baseman out of WBC

Gonzalez has tendinitis, won't bat for 2 weeks

PHOENIX -- Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has tendinitis in his right (non-throwing) elbow and has been shut down from swinging a bat for two weeks, he said Friday.

Gonzalez said the injury is not considered serious, but it puts his participation in the World Baseball Classic for Team Mexico in doubt. His brother, former Major Leaguer Edgar Gonzalez, manages Team Mexico.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Infielder Fernandez at Dodgers camp on spring invite

Infielder Fernandez at Dodgers camp on spring invite

PHOENIX -- Cuban infielder Jose Miguel Fernandez reported to Dodgers camp on Friday as a non-roster invite.

The 28-year-old Fernandez hasn't played competitively in two years, and he is expected to open the season in the Minor Leagues.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Puig is prepared for the zombie apocalypse

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Puig is prepared for the zombie apocalypse

According to a photo from Dodgers Spring Training, it looks like there's a new member of the team's lineup: Lucille. No, not Bluth or Ball -- we're talking about the barbed wire-wrapped bat from "The Walking Dead." See?

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Maeda adds muscle, sets sights on 200 innings

Dodgers right-hander bolsters repertoire with cutter

Maeda adds muscle, sets sights on 200 innings

PHOENIX -- Making adjustments in baseball might sound like a catchphrase, until you consider the adjustments Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda is making for his second Major League season.

He's gained 10 pounds of muscle in the past year, thanks to a revamped conditioning and nutrition plan, and is working tirelessly on grips for a cutter he's added to his pitch repertoire.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

SoCal native Romo excited to play for Dodgers

Longtime Giants closer ready for role as setup man

SoCal native Romo excited to play for Dodgers

PHOENIX -- Sergio Romo, a Southern California native who won three World Series with the rival Giants, now wears "Dodgers" across his jersey and he knows what the AT&T Park faithful are thinking.

"Coming over here to what the Bay Area considers the dark side -- it's kind of cool and kind of silly," Romo said moments before throwing his first bullpen session as a Dodgers reliever on Thursday.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Depth gives Dodgers' rotation luxury of skipped starts

Starters' 3.95 ERA ranked sixth in MLB last season

Depth gives Dodgers' rotation luxury of skipped starts

Rich Hill is going to miss some starts in 2017. So, most likely, will Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Julio Urias, Kenta Maeda and just about every Dodgers starter you can name. This is a team that set a Major League record for most trips to the disabled list in 2016, and at one point in August, Los Angeles actually had seven -- seven! -- starting pitchers on the disabled list simultaneously. Most of the same group returns. Missed time is inevitable.

But what if that's not a bad thing? What if it's actually part of the plan? What if the total number of trips to the disabled list not only doesn't matter, but actually matters less than it ever has?

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kershaw has no plans to dial back intensity

Dodgers ace says he feels good after first bullpen session

Kershaw has no plans to dial back intensity

PHOENIX -- Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported to camp Wednesday and ace Clayton Kershaw wasted no time proving his health by throwing a bullpen session along with a half dozen others.

"I'm doing good," said Kershaw, who missed 2 1/2 months last season with a herniated disk before returning to be a postseason factor. "I'm excited to give it a good test in Spring Training. But no worries or concerns for me."

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Friedman sees depth as a positive challenge

Dodgers' surplus of talent sets up spring battles

Friedman sees depth as a positive challenge

PHOENIX -- Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts on Wednesday deflected questions about having too many quality players, an embarrassment of riches most clubs can only dream about.

The president of baseball operations and the Dodgers manager welcomed pitchers and catchers to Camelback Ranch-Glendale Wednesday for the start of Spring Training. But when asked about excess of starting pitchers and outfielders, the pair reflected on last year, when injuries quickly turned perceived surpluses into a mad scramble for healthy bodies.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LA officially signs Romo; Garcia to 60-day DL

LA officially signs Romo; Garcia to 60-day DL

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers on Wednesday officially announced the signing of former Giants reliever Sergio Romo to a one-year contract and to make roster room placed right-handed pitcher Yimi Garcia on the 60-day disabled list because of last year's Tommy John surgery.

Romo was the Giants' primary closer in 2013 and 2014, when he recorded a combined 61 saves. He pitched well in a setup role in 2015 and 2016, compiling a 2.64 ERA last year when limited to 40 appearances because of a forearm flexor strain.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers pitchers healthy to start 2017

Staff has turned the page following injury-filled 2016 campaign

Dodgers pitchers healthy to start 2017

PHOENIX -- Not only is Clayton Kershaw healthy, nearly all of the recovering Dodgers pitchers reporting to Spring Training on Wednesday are healed and ready to go, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said.

"I've been in touch with Clayton and all of them, they all seem to be doing great," said Honeycutt, who had to navigate through 21 placements of pitchers on the disabled list last year involving 17 players. That group underwent seven operations and missed a combined 1,190 games.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodger Stadium to host annual College Baseball Classic

USC to play UCLA on March 5 in matchup of cross-city rivals

Dodger Stadium to host annual College Baseball Classic

PHOENIX -- USC and UCLA will resume their baseball rivalry in the annual Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic doubleheader on Sunday, March 5, with the University of San Diego playing the University of Michigan in the opener.

The San Diego-Michigan game begins at 11 a.m. PT and the USC-UCLA game starts at 3 p.m. Tickets, priced from $10 to $60, can be purchased at dodgers.com/classic.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Clayton Kershaw has an adorable workout partner

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Clayton Kershaw has an adorable workout partner

Last winter, the world got a rare glimpse into the offseason preparation that makes Clayton Kershaw arguably the best pitcher in baseball: his young daughter and daunting personal trainer Cali.

We're certainly not saying that Cali was totally responsible for her dad's success. We're just saying that, under Cali's watchful eye, all the lefty did was post a league-leading 1.69 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 148 innings. Coincidence or not, Kershaw isn't taking any chances -- so, this winter, he's been hunkered down with Cali again, and the two seem to have moved on to some advanced yoga.

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Hershiser to assume role as spring instructor

Former Dodgers great will replace Greg Maddux, mentor young arms

Hershiser to assume role as spring instructor

PHOENIX -- Greg Maddux gave up his spring role as a pitching instructor, but the Dodgers have brought in Orel Hershiser to take his place.

Maddux was hired a year ago as a special assistant, primarily for Spring Training, but last summer he became a volunteer pitching coach at UNLV, where his son, Chase, is a sophomore pitcher. Hershiser, already part of the Dodgers' broadcast team, will add spring pitching instructor to his duties, taking on the unofficial Maddux role of retired superstar pitcher in residence.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers head to camp with clear goal in mind

Stacked squad seeks to end club's World Series drought

Dodgers head to camp with clear goal in mind

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Dodgers squad each day this week. Today's topic: Spring Training is here.

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers re-signed free agents Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Rich Hill and Chase Utley. They traded for right-handed-hitting second baseman Logan Forsythe to bat leadoff, signed right-handed-hitting outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to balance the bench and former Giant Sergio Romo as the setup man.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Returning stars solidify deep Dodgers roster

Projected 25-man squad has plenty of protection

Returning stars solidify deep Dodgers roster

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com takes a look at a different aspect of this year's Dodgers squad each day this week. Today's topic: Predicting the 25-man roster.

LOS ANGELES -- While trying to predict the Los Angeles Dodgers' Opening Day 25-man roster, one thing is clear: The Oklahoma City Dodgers should be loaded.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.