After a Spring Training in which they’ve beset by injuries, the Dodgers’ thrifty offseason looms large, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale writes. The Dodgers’ lengthy injury list (including players who were hurt before the spring started) currently features Andre Ethier, Brett Anderson, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Frankie Montas, who all figure to miss significant time, along with Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal, Mike Bolsinger and others, whose maladies currently appear to be somewhat less serious. “It’s one of those freak things, that everything is happening at once,” says Kendrick. “Better it happen here than later, and then hopefully we get on with our season.” The Dodgers’ core issue, as Nightengale sees it, is that despite being a financial powerhouse, they want to succeed by accumulating depth and staying patient, rather than by paying the prices (either in money or in top prospects, of which they have many) necessary to acquire star players. That means they won’t be willing to trade their best young talent for upgrades now, even when they’ve been bitten by the injury bug. Here’s more from the West divisions.
- Dodgers starter Alex Wood looks like a rebound candidate, FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan writes. That would be a bit of good news for the team’s beleaguered rotation. Wood has raised his release point, which had fallen during his uneven 2015 season. He might also be in the process of regaining some of the velocity he’s lost as well — it fell from an average of 91.7 MPH in 2013 to 89.3 last season, and his pitches this spring have been closer to his 2013 levels.
- Catcher Tony Wolters was an unlikely choice to make the Rockies’ roster, but he’ll head north with the big-league team thanks in part to his ability to play at the middle infield positions as well as behind the plate, Nick Groke of the Denver Post writes. When the Rockies claimed Wolters in February, he had never played above the Double-A level. He initially played shortstop in the Indians organization before switching to catching in 2013. That versatility could make him more useful in extra-inning games — and, I’d think, in long games in general, of which Coors Field has many. “We didn’t know the kid until spring training started,” says manager Walt Weiss. “Over the course of six weeks, he won a lot of people over. That’s hard to do in this game.”
- The Rangers believe Matt Bush could pitch in the Major Leagues in 2016, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Bush, of course, was the first overall pick by the Padres in the 2004 draft, but the path he’s taken since then has been rocky, to say the least. He flamed out as a shortstop, and more troublingly, had a number of run-ins with the law, including a drunk-driving incident that resulted in him hitting a motorcyclist and spending more than three years in jail. But one member of the Rangers’ minor-league staff, Roy Silver, was in contact with Bush during his incarceration and had experience working with Josh Hamilton and other addicts. Bush, now a pitcher, is currently hitting 100 MPH from the mound.