Baseball bonds Kiké and dad from early age

Baseball bonds Kiké and dad from early age

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- At age 12, Enrique Hernandez thought he had killed his father.

While hitting baseballs with his dad, Enrique Sr., he smashed a line drive right back up the middle. The ball struck his father in the chest. The child's first instinct was not to check on his injured father -- it was to find his phone.

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Fabian Ardaya is a senior majoring in journalism at Arizona State University. This story is part of a Cactus League partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Pain-free A-Gon eagerly anticipating Classic

Pain-free A-Gon eagerly anticipating Classic

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Adrian Gonzalez told MLB.com that his right elbow is now free of pain early Thursday morning before the team worked out on the backfields of Camelback Ranch.

That assessment was corroborated shortly thereafter by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seager says he didn't have 'A' swing in '16

NL ROY, MVP candidate claims he wasn't comfortable at times

Seager says he didn't have 'A' swing in '16

PHOENIX -- Here's a stunning revelation, passed along by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts: Corey Seager said he didn't have his "A" swing last year.

"I thought I could be better at times mechanically than I was," Seager confirmed Wednesday. "I wasn't always 100 percent comfortable. Still competing, not uncomfortable, but not comfortable. I wasn't exactly where I wanted to be."

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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' Urias coping with innings ration

20-year-old lefty being held back early in camp

Dodgers' Urias coping with innings ration

PHOENIX -- Every starting pitcher in Dodgers camp has thrown live batting practice this week except 20-year-old Julio Urias. He'll get his turn Thursday, but he's aware he's still being treated with kid gloves, and he's dealing with it.

Management wants to protect Urias' arm after jumping him from 80 1/3 innings in 2015 to 127 2/3 innings in 2016. To ration innings so he's available in September and October, one of the considerations is to have him open the season in extended Spring Training. Another is to put him in the big league rotation and cut short his starts.

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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.

Ethier has no lingering effects from '16 injury

With leg 100 percent, veteran outfielder trying to win starting job

Ethier has no lingering effects from '16 injury

PHOENIX -- Even after he returned from a broken right leg late last season, Andre Ethier played hurt. But Ethier says he's fully healed now and ready to compete for a starting outfield job.

"I talked to a few other athletes that had the kind of fracture I had, and they said it takes 12-18 months," said Ethier. "But I worked out with every drill possible, landing on my leg at different angles, and it's 100 percent."

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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.

Photo of the Day: Yasiel Puig is caught in a net

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Photo of the Day: Yasiel Puig is caught in a net

Just like in a Looney Toons cartoon, the best way to catch a Yasiel Puig turns out to be ... a big net. 

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Zaidi: Gonzalez to get strategic rest in 2017

Urias may begin season in extended spring training

Zaidi: Gonzalez to get strategic rest in 2017

PHOENIX -- General manager Farhan Zaidi, speaking at the annual Cactus League Media Day on Tuesday, touched on a few minor issues his loaded Dodgers face on the first day of full-squad workouts.

Zaidi repeated manager Dave Roberts' desire to find more days off for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who earlier in the day said he will learn from team doctor Neal ElAttrache in the first week of March whether he will be cleared to begin hitting. Gonzalez has been shut down with right elbow tendinitis, and he added that if he can play in at least one Dodgers exhibition game, he will join Team Mexico for the World Baseball Classic the second week of March.

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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 calm, healthy at first club workout

Magic's role as part-owner won't change despite new job running Lakers

Dodgers calm, healthy at first club workout

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers held their first full-squad workout on Tuesday, and the talk of camp was basketball.

Club officials said part-owner Magic Johnson's status with the Dodgers hasn't changed because he just took over running the Los Angeles Lakers, but camp interest in Johnson's new job was a sign that things are relatively calm at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. Manager Dave Roberts addressed his 63 players in camp and reminded them of the unfinished business by falling two games short of the World Series last season.

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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.

Gutierrez hoping to contribute as part-timer

After Dodgers dealt him in 2004, outfielder is back where he began his career

Gutierrez hoping to contribute as part-timer

PHOENIX -- Franklin Gutierrez is back where he started, in a Dodgers uniform, sort of amazed at everything that has happened since he last wore it 13 Spring Trainings ago.

Between the time he was dealt to Cleveland for Milton Bradley in 2004 and re-signed as a free agent on Monday, Gutierrez has won an American League Gold Glove Award, fought through a rare disease that almost ended his career and now has returned as a part-time player seeking that elusive World Series.

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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 at forefront of Black History Month

Dodgers at forefront of Black History Month

LOS ANGELES -- As Major League Baseball recognizes Black History Month, the Dodgers remain as much a shining example of the impact of African-Americans today as they were when Jackie Robinson first wore Dodger Blue in Branch Rickey's historic "Noble Experiment."

The Dodgers have an African-American co-owner in Magic Johnson. They have one of only two current African-American managers in Dave Roberts. Don Newcombe, at age 90, and a special advisor to chairman Mark Walter, left the Negro Leagues in 1946 to sign with Rickey's Dodgers and join Robinson and Roy Campanella as the first African-Americans in the Minor Leagues.

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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, Wood look sharp throwing live BP

Both Dodgers left-handers battled injuries in 2016

Kershaw, Wood look sharp throwing live BP

PHOENIX -- Dodgers Nation breathed another sigh of relief Monday when Clayton Kershaw threw to hitters for the first time this spring and afterward said he felt fine.

Alternating on the mound with Kershaw on Monday was Alex Wood, who also returned from injury (elbow surgery) last season and is determined to earn back a spot in the starting rotation after being limited to 60 1/3 innings in 2016.

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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.

Cuban infielder Fernandez shaking off rust

Non-roster invitee can play second base, trying to learn third

Cuban infielder Fernandez shaking off rust

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers' latest Cuban talent is 28-year-old infielder Jose Miguel Fernandez, who is among the non-roster invitees that will participate in Tuesday's first full-squad workout.

Fernandez played seven seasons for Matanzas in Cuba's Serie Nacional but was suspended in 2015 for attempting to defect. He left Cuba in December of that year and didn't play competitively until the recently completed Dominican Republic Winter League, where he hit .286 in 18 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.

Kasten: Dodgers set up for long-term success

Kasten: Dodgers set up for long-term success

LOS ANGELES -- On Presidents Day, who better to address the state of the Dodgers than their president and CEO, Stan Kasten?

Kasten took over operation of the Dodgers on April 30, 2012, when Guggenheim Baseball Partnership bought the club. In 1999, Kasten became the first sports figure to hold the title of president of three teams in three sports concurrently: the Atlanta Braves, Hawks and Thrashers.

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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 sign Gutierrez to one-year deal

Team expects to use veteran outfielder as 'lefty-killer' off bench

Dodgers sign Gutierrez to one-year deal

LOS ANGELES -- On Monday, the Dodgers announced the signing of former Gold Glove outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to a one-year contract.

Gutierrez adds a proven right-handed bat to the bench and offers protection with right-handed-hitting outfielders Scott Van Slyke and Trayce Thompson coming off injuries.

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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.

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 Kershaw's 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.