Baseball now truly feels back with games starting up again, and we have some highlights from those, as well as the usual news and notes.
By the way, the Dodgers seem as loose as ever.
Clearing up a misunderstanding, Clayton Kershaw wants you to know he isn’t going anywhere.
Cody Bellinger, recovering from off-season shoulder surgery after he demolished it after his homer in Game 7 of the NLCS, is on track for Opening Day.
The important stuff.
Gavin Lux appears to have the inside track to being the starting second baseman to begin 2021.
“Giving him a runway to play second base, I think, is a good thing for him, and a good thing for the Dodgers,” manager Dave Roberts said of Lux on Monday. “We have some other guys that can help support, but I do like the idea of Gavin seeing a good bit of time at second base, and potentially shortstop too on days Corey [Seager] might have a day off.”
“All he’s known is consistent playing time, and consistent work,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of things going on with his swing as far as timing, and the more consistent he plays bodes better for him in the batters box.”
Brusdar Graterol shared that Walker Buehler taught him a new pitch.
With Kenley Jansen being named the closer, it’s imperative that he try again to reclaim some of his lost form, and his 2021 debut went about as well as could be expected.
The focus with Dustin May appears to be on his breaking ball, as it’s being keyed on to take him to the next level. So far, in spurts it certainly looks better.
Michael Grove, one of the top pitching prospects in the system, looked about as lights out as one can in his outing.
Supposedly a prospect on the rawer side despite being 24, Andre Jackson certainly looked the part in his outing.
Nick Robertson was a pleasant surprise.
Though it’s not like this necessarily comes out of nowhere, as he’s taken a step forward, and as a college reliever he was always going to be on an accelerated track if he did well.
When comparing his 2019 data to my 2020 in-person look (with high speed video), Robertson has had both a velocity bump as well as a shift in his fastball’s spin axis, which now has near perfect backspin. He now looks like a two-pitch power reliever with a plus fastball/curveball combination. He has a non-zero shot to race to the big leagues in 2021. (Fall Instructional League)
Dontrelle Willis has joined the Dodgers organization as a special assistant in player development, something he revealed himself on Twitter.
In June of 2020, a worrying Andrew Toles story emerged. Now there’s an update, and thankfully it appears to be a positive one.
Hoping for the best.