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Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training Notes: Updates on Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig and Others

February 21st, 2014 at 4:37 PM
By Jimmy Reynolds

'Yasiel Puig takes a mighty swing' photo (c) 2013, Not That Bob James - license:

A collection of news and notes from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ camp on a relatively busy news day:

  • As has long been expected, Matt Kemp is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day with the Dodgers in Australia. Earlier this month, both Kemp and his agent Dave Stewart said the center fielder would benefit from an April start to his season. Even that may be in question, as Kemp has not yet begun any running drills. According to Mattingly, there is no timetable set for his return:

“It’s just the fact that he hasn’t been on the grass, running and cutting. How long that takes, once they clear him to start that type of thing, that will be a progression.”

  • The starter for the first Cactus League game will be Clayton Kershaw, as expected. Zack Greinke will pitch the second game.
  • Andre Ethier backed Kemp’s earlier comments regarding not settling for the role of the fourth outfielder, while also noting the double-edged nature of the predicament:

"You want guys having that kind of edge to them, keeping their game at the highest level instead of settling for a lesser role. The team's made a financial commitment to all of us. If, all of a sudden, a guy says he's happy accepting that kind of role, wouldn't you as a fan say, 'He's happy being complacent?'"

  • Ethier was also involved in the most unfortunate incident of Spring Training thus far. During batting practice, Ethier hit Dodger legend Sandy Koufax with a foul ball. Koufax was ultimately fine, though he had a CT scan just to be safe. According to a joking Mattingly, Koufax will wear a helmet tomorrow.
  • Yasiel Puig was limited in practice today after sitting out yesterday’s session. Puig arrived at camp 26 pounds heavier than the end of last year, causing some questions about his preparation. Mattingly indicated to that while they do not see Puig’s weight as a problem, the team is “paying attention to it.”
  • Josh Beckett may be ahead of schedule, and, according to Mattingly, looks as if he did not have offseason surgery. Paul Maholm, on the other hand, had his bullpen session delayed as a result of a sore elbow. Maholm stated it was just precautionary and nothing serious.
Tags: Andre Ethier, Baseball, Josh Beckett, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Kemp, MLB, Paul Maholm, Sandy Koufax, Yasiel Puig, Zack Greinke

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