Though the Dodgers’ pursuit of Freddie Freeman carries on to stir speculation, the staff also opened its spring education camp about the weekend and held its to start with official workout Monday.
Presently, a sequence of subplots and storylines are commencing to build. As spring gets underway, listed here are five factors to abide by in the course of the operate-up to the 2022 season:
Trea Turner extension
Trea Turner is back at his pure shortstop posture. The concern now: Will he be the team’s shortstop of the long run, as well?
Turner, who was obtained at the trade deadline final yr, is in the closing calendar year of his contract. And while he’d be open to keeping with the Dodgers extensive-time period, he claimed there has been “nothing of substance” however in talks on a prospective extension.
“I really feel like I compartmentalize,” stated Turner, an All-Star last period who would be a person of the prime no cost agents accessible following wintertime. “I can have a speak if someone needs to have a communicate. If not, I’m all set to engage in and completely ready to go out there.”
Turner additional: “I think this organization, like I mentioned from day one particular, this is unbelievable. The time I’ve expended right here has been a lot of enjoyment. And I imagine it’s absolutely a spot that I can be prolonged-term. Whether that occurs or doesn’t materialize is a further problem, but I have experienced a lot of enjoyment.”
Opening at nearer
Manager Dave Roberts did not shut the door wholly on the Dodgers re-signing absolutely free agent closer Kenley Jansen, but it is searching likelier by the working day that the crew will not have the veteran appropriate-hander at the back of its bullpen.
That means the crew will have to select a substitute — or, as Roberts hinted at Monday, go with a nearer-by-committee method.
Roberts acknowledged that proper-hander Blake Treinen would be the entrance-runner, but also mentioned the crew likes his versatile established-up/fireman job wherever he faces the coronary heart of the opposing buy whenever it comes up.
“Blake’s open to carrying out whatsoever he can to enable us acquire and which is most vital,” Roberts said. “But I love our pen. I imagine it is a toughness suitable now.”
Stretching out starters
A person of the most important impacts of the lockout will probably slide on setting up pitchers, who are seeking to get stretched out in a substantially shortened spring camp.
“I just don’t anticipate a six-inning, 90-pitch create up for five men or 6 guys to be there [by opening day],” Roberts stated.
That signifies the Dodgers will have to get resourceful early in the year. Roberts downplayed the risk of a six-gentleman rotation, but emphasised the chance of piggybacking with prolonged relievers. He is also hopeful that the league will enable expanded rosters early in the year, which would enable the team to have more pitchers to distribute out the workload.
“I think our most important concern is early [in the year],” president of baseball functions Andrew Friedman stated. “So it is just how to navigate that and in which our very own men are and I consider as we assess that, about the up coming couple of days, we’ll have an even much better perception.”
The Dodgers are monitoring a number of players attempting to arrive again from harm this camp.
Clayton Kershaw is the greatest name. Immediately after battling an elbow personal injury last yr, he remains hopeful of becoming all set for opening day and was encouraged right after facing hitters reside for the initially time Monday.
Relievers Caleb Ferguson and Tommy Kahnle, who are equally returning from late 2020 Tommy John surgeries, are extra of a dilemma mark, with Roberts saying he thinks they are at present “unlikely” for opening day. Starter Dustin May is also rehabbing after having Tommy John surgical procedures final 12 months and reported he is targeting a return for the ultimate third of the period.
Amongst placement players, Mookie Betts (who battled a hip situation previous year) and Edwin Ríos (who had a shoulder harm) are comprehensive-go, but Roberts mentioned the team would be careful with how they ramp up.
Though the very first line of the Dodgers depth chart appears to be just about set — barring the addition of a further large free-agent signing, such as Freeman — the workforce will however have several roster places up for grabs.
On the bench, players these as Gavin Lux, Matt Beaty, new signing Hanser Alberto and Ríos will jockey for enjoying time, whilst nonroster invitees which include Eddy Alvarez, Andy Burns, Jason Martin, Stefen Romero and Jake Lamb will also attempt to make the workforce.
The bullpen could have a few much more roster battles. Left-hander Victor Gonzalez confirmed up to camp in amazing condition following ending final year in the minors. Ferguson and Kahnle, each time they are healthy, will attempt to cement themselves on the big league roster. 7 of the Dodgers’ 8 pitcher nonroster invites also have earlier massive league experience, with the lone exception getting really-touted prospect Ryan Pepiot.