Results tagged ‘ mlb ’

BeastMode is alive and well according to Matt Kemp

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(Photo by-Alex Gallardo/AP)

 

The past two seasons have been very unstable for Los Angeles Dodgers superstar outfielder Matt Kemp. Kemp battled several injuries including shoulder, hamstring, and an ankle that resulted in surgeries.

After battling through rehab assignments, simulation activities, there was a point for many fans if we’ll see the Matt Kemp of 2011 again. After overcoming an off season of many trade rumors seeing Kemp out of Los Angeles, the Dodgers made it clear that they have confidence that Kemp could still perform at a high level when healthy.

Kemp skipped the trip to Australia, stayed stateside in Arizona at Camelback Ranch to continue to rehab and work on his game. The ever ready star made it clear he was an everyday outfielder, despite the plans that manager Don Mattingly may have had dealing with a four man outfield.

Kemp reminded everyone that BeastMode is alive and well on Sunday in the 6-2 victory over the rival San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.

That’s when I know I’m seeing the ball good, when I drive the ball to right field like that,” Kemp told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “That’s my swing right there.”

In the second inning Kemp connected on home run over the wall in left field. Later in the fourth inning, Kemp crushed a fastball off of Matt Cain, for a tow run homer over the right field wall.

Kemp was back, and he let everyone know it in a big way.

He struck the ball with confidence in batting practice during spring and before games in the regular season.

We’ve got a long road ahead of us,” Kemp said. “But I hope the beast is back.

Kemp showed no effects from his off season surgery, and before Sunday’s game, hadn’t homered at Dodger Stadium since September 2012.

Kemp had surgery on his left shoulder last season from running into a wall at Coors Field in Colorado, chasing down a ball. He returned for the 2013 season, only playing in 73 games due to hamstring and ankle issues.

Now Kemp is focused on the 2014 season, and plans to go healthy all season, helping the Dodgers win a World Series Titles, and as many games along the way.

I just feel great,” Kemp said. “Let’s just talk about this win and go on to the next thing.”

If Kemp can bring this offensive stability every game, along with Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig swinging the bat every night, the Dodgers could have one of the most powerful line ups in baseball.

Zack Greinke picked up the victory over the Giants also shared his thoughts on the importance of Kemp in the line up. “I’ve never seen Matt being the player he is,” Greinke said. “And Hanley is on a different level. If he’s like he was today, you don’t want to face this lineup if that’s the case.” 

Once Clayton Kershaw and Brian Wilson return healthy that will also bring some strong depth into the bullpen for the Dodgers.

Kemp is truly an everyday outfielder, it would be incredibly incumbent of Mattingly to see to it that Kemp gets as much playing time as possible. It’s great seeing Kemp back in the line up, his presence was truly missed the past two seasons.

Don Mattingly and Puig continue to build a bond

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Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and outfielder Yasiel Puig continue to build their relationship with one another, after some controversial comments were made by Mattingly during the Australia trip.

Puig went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs in Sunday’s 7-5 win against the Diamondbacks. After a ninth inning strike out, Puig left the game and headed to the locker room.

Mattingly told reporters after the Dodgers victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, about Puig’s status with the team.

I guess his back. Shoulder yesterday, back today, so I’m not sure if they’re going to get him tests or get him to the MRI Monday or a bone scan on Tuesday, maybe. I’m not quite sure what we’ll do. We may not do anything.”

Of course cooler heads prevailed and after a conversation with Puig, Mattingly said “We’re good. I’ve got no issues with Yasiel.” Both met with each other on Tuesday to iron everything out

Mattingly went on to say, “I know Yasiel is a huge lightning rod, and anything I say is a huge story and anything he does is a huge story. Maybe I should have been more clear — the before and after were two different things.

After returning to Los Angeles, Puig received an MRI on his lower back that showed no damage, however did receive treatment. He’s expected to be ready and playing in the season opener against the San Diego Padres on March 30th.

Puig is still learning the system, but is a huge talent that will continue to improve over time.

Dodgers starter Hyun Jin Ryu could miss his next start against the Padres due to a torn toenail that he suffered in Australia. Ryu make a sudden and quick stop at third base against the Diamondback, where the injury occurred.

Mattingly said that they will make an official ruling on Ryu’s status closer to his start day.

Kershaw and Ryu take their talents Down Under

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The season will start just a bit early this year for the Los Angeles Dodgers thanks to Major League Baseball going global. MLB decided to expand the brand and use the Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks to promote the sport in Australia.

The two rival teams will play at Sydney Cricket Ground on March 22-23. The two teams have built a huge rivalry in the last two years, which will make for great competition amongst their Australian fans.

Clayton Kershaw gets the start in the first game, while Hyun Jin Ryu gets the start in the second game. Ryu replaces Zack Greinke who left a Spring Training game last week with a strained right calf. Greinke who was never fully in support of the trip Down Under, and will not travel with the team.

Greinke is scheduled to begin bullpen throwing sessions this week at Camelback Ranch.

The Dodgers are scheduled to depart for Australia next Sunday.

Countdown to Matt Kemp’s comeback

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Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has continued to progress in rehabbing from his off season ankle surgery, that has kept him out of his action this Spring.

After positive test results that enable him to progress in more workouts that include tracking down fly balls and running on the field, manager Don Mattingly feels strongly that Kemp will return sooner. “I don’t put that kind of timetable on it,” Mattingly told MLB.com. “As long as he’s moving forward.

Kemp continues to eye his return this season, although he will not be available for the Australia trip on March 22-23 against Arizona. 
I’m out there running again, I am happy. I’m good,” Matt Kemp said regarding his progress. He could make a return during the first week of the season at Dodger Stadium.

He’s swinging the bat good. It won’t be long before he’s in a game,” said Mattingly.

The important factor is to get Kemp healthy and last throughout the season, unlike his previous two seasons where he played a total of 179 games.

*(Photo By: Jon SooHoo)

 

Zach Lee takes the mounds in Catcus League debut

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The 22 year old Zach Lee makes his Catcus League start on Friday afternoon for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are extremely excited to watch Lee pitch, as he was invited to Spring Training by the Dodgers this year. Lee has all of the tools to pitch in MLB, however must continue to fine tune his pitches. He overcame an injury to his lat muscle, which enabled him to miss his first scheduled bullpen session.

The Dodgers will be observant of his pitch count, and as Lee continues to develop. He could see some action in the very near future at the next level for the Dodgers, but now the team is focused on their other starters in Paul Maholm and Josh Beckett.

 

Zack Greinke suffers injury in Spring Training game

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Dodgers starter Zack Greinke left yesterday’s game after four pitches, due to a mild calf strain in his right leg.

Greinke struck out Tony Campana, and threw a few pitches to Cliff Pennington before Don Mattingly decided to retire Greinke for the afternoon.

Greinke felt some tightness in his calf, “we deal with small stuff all the time, and I think that’s what this is. We’ll see, but that’s my guess,” said Greinke. “I’d still be pitching if this were a regular season game.”

Greinke made sure to let his thoughts be known how he was in favor of his team taking the long trip to Australia.

Since then Greinke has relaxed his stance on the down under issue, sort of.

“If we’re going to be there, I want to pitch,” Greinke said. “My vote if we had to go over there, was not going. But more people wanted to go than not, so now that we are going, I want to be there. I don’t want to not go and have the rest of the team play with me sitting here watching. I also don’t want to go there and not pitch.”

Each day Greinke will go through ice and theraphy related treatment on his calf, until a diagnosis can be reached.

He will be ready to pitch again in time for the regular season.

Clayton Kershaw begins his campaign in the Cactus League

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Coming off a phenomenal 2013 season that resulted in the Los Angeles Dodgers appearing the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, and Clayton Kershaw acquired his second Cy Young award.

Kershaw also made news when he signed his sever year, $215 million deal, he makes his debut today in his Cactus League debut.

It’s not a normal Spring Training,” Kershaw told MLB.com.  “Tomorrow we’re, in a sense, in the middle of things. We’ve got 19 [days of spring training games] before we play a game that counts. We’ve got to feel some sense of urgency.”

The team along with Kershaw have worked out but lacked energy according to manager Don Mattingly. However Mattingly is hopefully that the Dodgers will pick up their intensity as the season gets closer to beginning. Last season the Dodgers played approximately 36 games.

Kershaw is scheduled not to participate in the games in Australia in order to lighten his work load this season. The Dodgers have a less than a month before they face the Arizona Diamondbacks in a early regular season matchup.

We’ve got to feel some sense of urgency,” said Kershaw regarding the regular season.

The Dodgers also participated in some interleague games on Monday and Tuesday, before today’s Cactus league game in order to get into baseball rhythm.

Along with Kershaw starting on the mound, Alex Guerrero will start at second base and bat second, along with Yasiel Puig batting third. Chone Figgins makes his Dodger debut as the lead off hitter on Wednesday.

 

 

 

SportsNet LA debuts on Time Warner Cable

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The long awaited Dodgers network known as SportsNet LA, part of a twenty five year, $8 billion deal launches on February 25th at 7 PM PST.

Unlike the Time Warner Sports Net channel that is shared by the Los Angeles Lakers, Sparks, and Galaxy, this new network is owned and operated by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Time Warner customers can tune in to HD Channel 431 and standard Definition Channel 231. Time Warner is said to be in talks with various other operators such as AT & T U-verse, DirecTV, and COX. A deal should be coming soon between the various providers, however no projected date has been scheduled.

This new network will include exclusive behind the scenes coverage of the Dodgers with shows like Backstage:Dodgers, interviews, and most importantly the chance for fans to watch every Dodger game home and away.

The new SportsNet LA network consist of a dynamite line up includes insight from Jerry Hairston Jr., former Cy Young winner Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Alana Rizzo (formely of the MLB Network), and John Hartung (formerly ABC 7 in Los Angeles).

As Dodger fans get to hear that golden voice of summer known as Vin Scully call all of the Dodger home games and a few away games this season.

I’m looking forward to enjoying this new Dodgers network, that has been a long time in the making, but I’m sure will be well worth the wait.

 

Yasiel Puig reaches out to his LA fans

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During the 2014 Dodgers Fan Fest at Dodger Stadium, Yasiel Puig addressed some off the field issues with SportNetLA host Alanna Rizzo.

Rizzo interpreted for Puig, when she asked him about the latest speeding and reckless driving charge in Florida, that was recently dropped.

Nada“, Puig joked in front of the crowd. “I was driving fast. It was my fault. I’m not ever going to drive fast. Or slow. I now have a driver. I want to apologize to the city of Los Angeles and to these fans. I’m done with speeding.

This was the second incident that involved reckless driving, where he was cited for driving 110 mph in a 70 mph zone. The first incident happened when he was a member of the AA Chattanooga Lookouts, when he drove approximately 97 mph in a 50 mph zone.

Puig continues to mature and grow as a player on and off the field, and as the Dodgers have been patient with him, so do many of the fans and society. The culture is new to him, and the 23 year old has taken a step in the right direction by hiring his cousin to drive him around.

Puig has been visual this off season, whether it’s been working out with teammate, pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu, or assisting kids around the Los Angeles area with baseball clinics.

Puig finished second in the rookie of the year voting behind Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins. He hit .319 with 19 home runs last season.

He was the boost of energy the Dodgers needed last season, and the team hopes he can continue to be that on and off the field.

Puig is loved by fans, and as he exited the stage, threw his hat into the crowd as fans scrambled to capture it.

 

2014 belongs to ‘BeastMode’ according to Matt Kemp

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Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp hasn’t had the greatest 2013 season, battling his way through injuries suffered to his ankle, hamstring, and shoulder.

Kemp has been the subject of trade rumors the entire off season, so it will take a spectacular 2014 to keep him off the trading block. The Dodgers currently have four outfielders that include Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier on the roster.

“My shoulder feels great, my ankle is still healing but coming along,” said Kemp to the LA Daily News. “I’m on the verge of doing something great.”

Kemp’s agent Dave Steward says he won’t be ready in time for the March 22nd -23rd trip to Australia. But Kemp has enough time to make his season debut on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on April 4th.

Kemp who refuses to be a fourth outfielder will have an opportunity to prove that status this season. The key for him to staying Los Angeles in a Dodger uniform is to remain healthy for the season, and participate in the playoffs.

Kemp looks to resurrect “BeastMode” this season, and have a 2014 that is complimentary of the 2011 MVP type year.

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