Spring Notes: Ohtani’s debut dong, Ramos making himself known, guys getting healthy, checking in on competitions

Spring Training games have finally gotten underway for the Dodgers, and there are a couple roster battles to watch along with some prospects to follow. However, as will be the case with most of what the Dodgers do this season, things revolve around Shohei Ohtani.


Shohei Ohtani

Well that was an exciting debut yesterday, huh? Starting things with a strikeout and double play was funny, if nothing else, but I much preferred his final at-bat of the day. After working a 3-2 count, Ohtani seemingly got jammed on a fastball for a routine flyout to left … then it kept going, and went further more … for a homer.

Just impossible, superhuman stuff.

If I witnessed that, I’d be shook interviewing him as well.

Gavin Lux

Apologies to Gavin for having to follow that, but he’s probably the next biggest issue on the agenda as the starting shortstop that’s coming off a devastating knee injury that cost him all of 2023. The main thing for Lux is that he looks healthy and appears capable of playing shortstop. Even though he’s only started one game at short, it seems things are all good as he’s 3-for-8 with a walk so far.

Blake Treinen

Treinen hasn’t really been healthy since 2021, but his upside and track record are enough to guarantee him a spot in the pen should he be as healthy as hoped. He made his debut yesterday with a scoreless inning and a strikeout, while the slider certainly looked ready. It’s what you want to see.

Daniel Hudson

Another guy the Dodgers just want to see healthy after terrible injury luck last year. There was reasonable concern over whether he’d be ready when it was said he was having trouble in camp, but he started his Spring with a scoreless frame. While not even on the 40-man, if he’s healthy, he should be making the pen.

Gavin Stone

With Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw on the IL, the competition for fifth starter is surprisingly open. Stone is one of the candidates, but more than winning a rotation spot, this is about convincing himself that what he learned after getting rocked last year and the changes he made in AAA last season will allow him to be effective in the bigs.

So far he’s given up one run in 2.2 innings, notching three strikeouts and walking one in two appearances. However, the most promising thing is that his velocity is ahead of schedule and the changeup looks as nasty as ever.

Ryan Yarbrough

The stakes aren’t that high for Yarbrough, who figures to be on the team one way or another. In his debut this Spring, he hit a batter and walked a batter in 1.2 innings, but also struck out three. Honestly not sure how his performance might even affect any decision since he has track record, but still worth following just in case.

Alex Vesia & Matt Gage

There are a bunch of lefty NRIs in camp, but I can’t see the Dodgers jettisoning either of these two in exchange for them. Thus, the last pen spot will likely come down to them, but neither has impressed so far.

Vesia has given up three hits and walk in two innings with zero whiffs, including a run on a homer. Meanwhile, Gage got knocked around for a couple runs on a couple hits on his Spring debut, though does have three strikeouts in two innings.

Michael Grove

Grove is now seemingly focusing on a relief role, and he pitched a rocky but scoreless inning to start his campaign, but gave up three runs on three hits (including a homer) yesterday in just 1.1 innings. He has options left so he’ll likely be sent down unless there’s an injury, but if he pitches well he could be on the Opening Day roster should anybody not be ready.

Landon Knack

Speaking of fifth starter candidates and maybe pen guys, here’s a dark horse candidate auditioning for either, or at least for the right to be the first man up once the Dodgers need another arm. Knack was electric in his debut, striking out four over two perfect frames.

Miguel Vargas

Before the Enrique Hernandez signing it seemed like he might’ve had a path to the roster, but the position players are locked down right now. Still, it’s a big Spring campaign for Vargas, who is not only looking to prove he can indeed be the hitter the Dodgers think he can be, but is also learning a new position. He made a nice play in left and is 2-for-9 with a double so far this Spring.

Andy Pages

Yet another player who is coming back from a major injury suffered in 2023. A big Spring could put him on the team’s radar for a call-up should an outfielder go down, but given the history of shoulder injuries on power, I’m just satisfied that he’s making his way back. He’s 2-for-7 with a double in early action.

Kyle Hurt

Hurt looked dominant in his debut last season, and certainly he wants to convince the Dodgers that he’s ready for the call whenever they need pen help. He has pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout so far.

Ricky Vanasco

One of those prospects that’s sort of on the fringes but constantly has flashes that makes you wonder what he could do if he gets a chance. Josh highlighted his upside last year, and he has two perfect innings so far to start the Spring.

Jose Ramos

23-year-old Ramos is facing an important season after scuffling in AA last year, but the power remains loud and he’s off to a scorching start in Spring. He’s 5-for-9 with a double, homer, six runs, and three RBI, walking twice and striking out just three times.


Some guy named Yoshinobu Yamamoto is making his debut today, by the way.

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