Ethier: Spring injury like Groundhog's Day

Dodgers outfielder in holding pattern for recovery from herniated disk

Ethier: Spring injury like Groundhog's Day

PHOENIX -- Andre Ethier sounds like a ballplayer about to miss his second consecutive Opening Day because of a significant injury.

Ethier said his mild disk herniation responded to an epidural injection, but he's back in limbo as far as the severity and recovery time, as he was a year ago, when he fractured his right leg on a foul ball that sidelined him most of the 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.

Seager feeling no pain in strained oblique

LA shortstop plays in Minors game, expects to be ready for Opening Day

Seager feeling no pain in strained oblique

PHOENIX -- Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager returned to Minor League game action Tuesday and said he felt no discomfort from the strained oblique that has sidelined him since March 4.

On a back field, Seager went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, but came away pleased nonetheless. He still believes he will be ready for Opening Day by getting extra at-bats in Minor League games over the next two weeks.

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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

Mike Petriello

Kings of contact: Dodgers' arms rate highly in new metric

Jansen, Dayton, Kershaw all rank in top 10 in Estimated OPS

Kings of contact: Dodgers' arms rate highly in new metric

If you were told that the Dodgers had 2016's most dominant pitcher, you'd likely say "yes, I am aware that Clayton Kershaw exists." But what if we said that by at least one measure, it was actually a different Dodgers pitcher atop the list? And what if we added that by that same measure, they had three of the top 10 -- and five of the top 25?

What we're talking about is the accumulated season value of Hit Probability, our latest Statcast™ metric. Simply put, it places a hit percentage on each batted ball based on the exit velocity and launch angle, because while the pitcher has some control over how the batter puts the ball in play, he has no control over what his fielders do with it beyond that. For example, take this lazy pop fly induced by former Dodger J.P. Howell that had a mere 2 percent Hit Probability … but still became an RBI double against Howell because Josh Reddick lost the ball so badly he couldn't even touch it to be charged with an error. 

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Krause's scouting ability evident with Gibson

Bulls' championship-winning GM worked for Mariners, pointed out future walk-off hero

Krause's scouting ability evident with Gibson

Jerry Krause made his name in the NBA as the general manager of a Chicago Bulls franchise that won six championships.

It was no surprise to longtime baseball executive Mel Didier. He knows firsthand that when it came to evaluating talent, one of the best in sports was Krause, who died on Tuesday at the age of 77.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ryu makes another strong bid to join rotation

Dodgers lefty says he's ready; prospects Verdugo, Calhoun reassigned

Ryu makes another strong bid to join rotation

PHOENIX -- Hyun-Jin Ryu is forcing Dodgers management to consider him for the season-opening rotation.

After seeing the lefty sidelined for two years by injuries, the club was just hoping he'd stay healthy this spring. With starting pitching depth, the expectation was that Ryu would need time in extended spring training before he's ready for the Major 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.

Ryu blanks Crew for four; Turner homers

Ryu blanks Crew for four; Turner homers

PHOENIX -- Hyun-Jin Ryu fired four scoreless innings and singled in a run for the Dodgers, but Milwaukee catcher Manny Pina slugged a three-run homer in a 5-4 Brewers win Tuesday at Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

Ryu, trying to reclaim his rotation spot after two years of injuries, allowed one hit with two strikeouts. In the the fourth with runners on the corners and two outs, Ryu bounced a single up the middle to chase Milwaukee starter Matt Garza and break a scoreless tie.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ethier doubtful for Opening Day with back injury

Dodgers outfielder dealing with 'mild' disk herniation

Ethier doubtful for Opening Day with back injury

PHOENIX -- Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has a "mild" disk herniation in his lower back and his status for Opening Day is doubtful.

Ethier -- who missed almost all of last season with a broken right leg -- underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed the injury. 

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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.

Manfred visits renovated field for LA youth

Dodgers' Kasten also at unveiling for Boys & Girls Club

Manfred visits renovated field for LA youth

LOS ANGELES -- In the span of about four weeks, a modest playing field at the Ramona Gardens Clubhouse underwent a dramatic transformation. As part of Major League Baseball's partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, MLB's official charity, the field was fully refurbished as the newest "Dodgers Dreamfield."

And on Tuesday, the renovations were officially complete with a ribbon ceremony, which drew notable guests, including MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Dodgers president Stan Kasten.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jansen makes quick work of PR in debut

Jansen makes quick work of PR in debut

LOS ANGELES -- Midway through the ninth inning of Monday's World Baseball Classic semifinal -- a 4-3 Puerto Rico win over the Netherlands in 11 innings -- a familiar tune echoed throughout Chavez Ravine, as Kenley Jansen trotted out of the bullpen to his entrance song, 2Pac's "California Love."

The Netherlands called upon the Dodgers closer to make his tournament debut in the bottom of the ninth in the tied elimination game, and Jansen made quick work of the Puerto Rico lineup, sending the game to extras.

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

Urias appears unlikely to start '17 in rotation

Roberts says Dodgers have luxury of being patient with 20-year-old lefty

Urias appears unlikely to start '17 in rotation

PHOENIX -- Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias said he still believes he's competing for a starting rotation spot on the Opening Day roster, despite indications he will instead be assigned to extended spring training after camp ends.

"If I throw a bullpen tomorrow, they'll probably tell me what the plan is," Urias said. "I'm fighting for a spot in the rotation, and it seems this is the way they are managing me, and I have to respect that. You don't know what's going to happen. You hope everyone stays healthy, first and foremost, but you don't know what's going to happen."

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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.

Utley, Pederson go yard against Indians

Utley, Pederson go yard against Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When Michael Brantley was pulled for a pinch-runner in the fifth inning on Monday, the Indians outfielder received a warm round of applause from his Goodyear Ballpark audience. Tribe fans were undoubtedly thrilled to see Brantley back on the field in the 14-5 victory over the Dodgers.

In his first Cactus League game of the spring, Brantley went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and an RBI. It was an important step for the left fielder, who missed all but 11 games in 2016 due to right shoulder woes, and he is currently coming back from August surgery on his right biceps.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

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.

McCarthy not satisfied by winning rotation job

Dodgers right-hander allows two earned runs vs. Indians on Monday

McCarthy not satisfied by winning rotation job

GOODYEAR, AZ. -- From all indications, Brandon McCarthy has won back his job in the Dodgers starting rotation after two years of agony, but he doesn't see it as a significant achievement.

"If I felt that was a significant achievement, I'm aiming too low," said McCarthy. "Twelve years in, winning a spot is not where my focus is. It's making 33 starts and the postseason. It's doing everything I need to do as a solid Major League starter. Winning a rotation spot is step one. I came to spring this year with the attitude of doing everything every day to be ready for the start of the season, wherever it is."

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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.

Scouts watch Gagne throw at Dodgers camp

Right-hander, 41, hasn't pitched in Majors since 2008

Scouts watch Gagne throw at Dodgers camp

PHOENIX -- Scouts from two teams -- neither of which was from the Dodgers -- wandered over to the bullpen area of Camelback Ranch right when Dodgers guest instructor Eric Gagne took the mound.

Team Canada is out of the World Baseball Classic, but Gagne's improbable comeback remains on the table. His bullpen session followed that of Clayton Kershaw. Dodgers veteran receiver Bobby Wilson caught, and third baseman Justin Turner stood in the batter's box tracking pitches, while pitching coach Rick Honeycutt offered tips.

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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.

Curveball, consistency come together for Hill

Dodgers' lefty struck out 10 in Minors game

Curveball, consistency come together for Hill

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers lefty Rich Hill's outing Sunday came on a back field at Camelback Ranch against a team of Minor Leaguers, but it might as well have been at Dodger Stadium in the heat of a playoff race, as far as his mentality was concerned.

"For me, I keep it as simple as possible," Hill said. "It doesn't matter who's in the box, whether it's Miguel Cabrera or somebody No. 98 that you don't know."

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John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCarthy has very strong opinions on proper cupcake frosting

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McCarthy has very strong opinions on proper cupcake frosting

Pitcher Brandon McCarthy, putting together a solid spring for the Dodgers after missing most of the last two seasons with injuries, has a very strong take on the cupcake industry and the intolerable indulgences therein.

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Ethier has MRI on back; Adrian, Puig scratched

Ethier has MRI on back; Adrian, Puig scratched

PHOENIX -- While waiting for results of an MRI on the lower back of outfielder Andre Ethier, the Dodgers also had to scratch first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Yasiel Puig from Monday's Cactus League game against the Indians because of injuries.

Ethier, who had a double and single on Saturday, said he couldn't get loose for Sunday's game. The 34-year-old said he would find a way to play through it if it was the regular season. He is hitting .500 (6-for-12) this spring with a home run and two RBIs.

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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 returns to camp after death of father

Roberts returns to camp after death of father

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts returned to camp Sunday with a heavy heart after missing two days following the death of his father, Waymon, but he was ready to get back to work and prepared to train his full focus again on the details of getting his team ready for the regular season.

After all, he knows being back in uniform and performing his duties as manager was exactly where his father would have wanted him to be.

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John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect Buehler receiving high praise

Prospect Buehler receiving high praise

PHOENIX -- Dodgers fans might see latest pitching sensation Walker Buehler in Los Angeles much sooner than anyone expected. … like the Freeway Series.

Management is thinking about bringing Buehler to California for the traditional series against the Angels. He hasn't even made an appearance on the Major League side of camp yet, but with the buzz around him, you'd think the Dodgers have come upon a right-handed Clayton Kershaw.

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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.

Four homers lead Dodgers over White Sox

Four homers lead Dodgers over White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers slugged four homers and claimed a 13-7 victory over the White Sox Saturday at Camelback Ranch, and they did so with White Sox manager Rick Renteria absent for most of the contest.

Renteria earned the rare Cactus League ejection after the top of the third from home-plate umpire Quinn Wolcott. White Sox starting pitcher Carson Fulmer appeared to take umbrage with the strike zone as he left the mound, just as Avisail Garcia had on a called third strike in the second. Those disagreements turned into a heated exchange and Renteria being tossed.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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 takes off-night in stride

Kershaw takes off-night in stride

PHOENIX -- Clayton Kershaw struck out four of the first five Mariners he faced Friday night. And he allowed home runs to three of the final nine he faced in a 5-2 loss for the Dodgers.

"It was kind of weird," said Kershaw. "When I felt I was executing, I did a pretty good job, but there was no in between tonight. I was either really good or really bad, I guess. The margin for error just didn't happen tonight."

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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.

Roster has more questions than Seager's health

Roster has more questions than Seager's health

PHOENIX -- One year later, the spring roster guessing game for the Dodgers has again been superseded by hand-wringing over whether shortstop Corey Seager will be healthy by Opening Day.

For all the depth the Dodgers have, there's only one unanimous National League Rookie of the Year and MVP finalist. Seager was that despite missing the final 19 Cactus League games last spring with a knee injury, and this spring he's been sidelined since March 3 by an injured oblique.

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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 fans 8, gives up 3 homers

Kershaw fans 8, gives up 3 homers

PHOENIX -- Three Mariners homered off Clayton Kershaw Friday night in a 5-2 win over a split-squad Dodgers club at Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

Tyler O'Neill mashed a two-run homer in the fourth inning, and Leonys Martin (on an 0-2 pitch) and Danny Valencia went deep in the fifth, all off Kershaw, who allowed four runs on six hits in five innings with eight strikeouts and two walks. Kershaw struck out four of the first five batters he faced.

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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

Barry M. Bloom

Ryu's strong spring complicating rotation plans

Lefty making case for starting spot amid return from 2 injury-riddled seasons

Ryu's strong spring complicating rotation plans

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu has made one start during the past two seasons because of a shoulder injury and ensuing surgery. So please excuse him for not worrying about his place in Los Angeles' rotation or even his stature on the team.

Those determinations will come in due time.

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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.

Ryu can't overcome quiet offense vs. Cubs

Ryu can't overcome quiet offense vs. Cubs

PHOENIX -- Eddie Butler threw four innings of one-hit ball in the Cubs' 4-0 win over the Dodgers on Thursday in a rematch of last year's National League Championship Series.

Butler, acquired from the Rockies in February, is one of the starters the Cubs are looking at for insurance in case something happens to any of their starting five. He's projected to open the season at Triple-A Iowa.

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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.

Romo held out of workouts with stiff back

Kazmir searching for velocity; Ethier to return to action Friday

Romo held out of workouts with stiff back

PHOENIX -- Dodgers reliever Sergio Romo returned from the World Baseball Classic with a stiff back and was held out of workouts on Thursday.

The Dodgers consider the issue minor, even though the season starts in 18 days.

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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.

Puig ejected after slamming bat following K

Puig ejected after slamming bat following K

PHOENIX -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was ejected from Thursday's 4-0 loss to the Cubs by plate umpire Tom Woodring.

With one out in the seventh inning, Puig was called out on strikes by Woodring for the second time in the game. Puig then angrily slammed his bat into the ground, and Woodring ejected 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.