Spring Training Notes: Hyun-Jin hope, A-Gon painless, Ethier healed, #4 in org talent rankings

Dodgers games start again today in a little bit, as Clayton Kershaw takes to the mound, so this can serve as a Game Thread of sorts. However, there are still bits of information that have come in from Spring Training recently.

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Probably the most exciting and relevant news to come out of Spring Training recently is that Hyun-Jin Ryu looks like he’s finally making his way back to form.

As I’ve said over and over and over again, combining a labrum surgery with an elbow surgery and a pitcher who has thrown like four innings since 2014 is very very very bad. However, if Ryu can somehow make it back and be effective, this would be very welcome for the starting rotation given how good he was before, as even a drop-off would make him valuable.

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After concerns about tendinitis in his elbow, Adrian Gonzalez has declared himself pain-free and plans to play in the World Baseball Classic for Mexico.

Asked about any lingering pain from the tendinitis that has plagued him since this past offseason, Gonzalez said: “I’m fine. It feels great.”

“I’m planning to play,” said the lefty-swinging first baseman, whose older brother, Edgar, is managing the team. “I’m hoping for it. We’ve taken all the right precautions. I’ve got to get cleared by the doctors, so we’ll see.”

I understand it’s important to him, but he’s not getting any younger, so … I’d rather he not.

Speaking of recovering veterans, Andre Ethier says this time he’s actually ready to go.

“I talked to a few other athletes that had the kind of fracture I had, and they said it takes 12-18 months,” said Ethier. “But I worked out with every drill possible, landing on my leg at different angles, and it’s 100 percent.”

“12-18 months” sounds close enough to “day-to-day”, IMO.

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We knew Julio Urias would be limited by his innings, and at least he seems to be at peace with that reality (not that he had a choice).

“It’s a decision they’re going to make and I respect whatever decision they make, but who doesn’t want to be in the big leagues?” said Urias. “Personally, I would rather watch my innings and be on the big league club, but if that’s not the decision, that’s something I have to respect. And I’m grateful they are looking after me and taking care of me.”

Extended Spring Training still has to make the most sense. Yes, he’s at least the fourth-best starter on this staff, but managing his innings by yanking him after five no matter what taxes the pen and the Dodgers have the depth to hold him back.

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The Dodgers big-league squad doesn’t have a whole lot of holes entering Spring Training, so it’s remarkable then that after ranking #3 in 2015 and #1 in 2016, the Dodgers are still #4 in Baseball America’s Organization Talent Rankings.

How They Got Here: No other team graduated significant prospects like the Dodgers in 2016. Their class included Rookie of the Year shortstop Corey Seager and lefthander Julio Urias, last year’s top-ranked pitching prospect. And yet the Dodgers remain a top-five system, stocked with high-priced Cubans with impact tools (Yadier Alvarez and Yusniel Diaz), fourth-round pick sluggers (Cody Bellinger and Willie Calhoun) and depth from international and draft sources.

Mitchell White is listed as a sleeper with a high ceiling, and the breakout candidate is none other than Walker Buehler.

Exciting times, just have to hope everything goes as planned (even though it rarely does).

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama

I get paid millions by the Dodgers.

MILLIONS!