So today was my first day of ST and I have a few observations to make:
- Matt Kemp looks happy and energetic. He seems more like the guy from two years ago than the guy from last year. I saw him working on going the other way in the cages on the back fields with Pentland, Hansen and Mota. He mentioned that he rushes too much on the inside pitch and just needs to slow down and drop the bat head on the ball.
- Kershaw had the best curve ball seen today in camp. He was playing long toss with Kuroda and he broke it out. The thing dropped 3 feet. Audible gasps and chuckles could be heard from the crush (well maybe 3) of Japanese reporters following Kuroda.
- Old Friend Steve Yeager is in camp! He was working the bucket at second during BP and helped Travis work with the catchers. They'd do well to listen and take advantage.
- Speaking of catchers, Barajas hit about 4 bombs today. They were only in BP, but they weren't cheapies.
- Ethier too put on a power display. He hit 3 in a row against a light breeze.
- Lopes sighting! How great to see him back where he belongs! He was in good spirits and was working one-on-one with Ethier. Soohoo was taking a picture like the one yesterday with Kemp, so check the Dodger website. Davey has the reputation of being a guy who can be surly, but today he was all smiles. I really think he's happy to be back.
- Speaking of surly. Mr. Broxton still is. He seems to have lost a few pounds from his offseason running. I told him he was looking good and he looked in my direction and kind snarled....nice going Brox.
- Bunting defense was a big part of PFP today. It looks like they're going to institute a new bunt defense, "Play 3". Since this was only with the pitchers, I'll have to fill in a few blanks. It looks like with men on 1st and 2nd, Play 3 will be called late in the game. The goal is to get the guy at third on the bunt. 1st and 3rd will charge hard down the line and second will break to cover first. We've all seen that before, but here's the twist- SS will read the play. If there is a play to 3rd he breaks there, if not he goes to second. It'll be interesting to see it work, but it's safe to say (because Mattingly said it) that the Dodgers want to be very tough to bunt against.
- Glenn Dishman seemed to be paying special attention to Jansen today during long toss- well he was standing next to him most of the time at least. It seems they want somebody there to make sure he continues his position change as seamlessly as possible. Glenn is a good guy to listen to.
- Oh and for those who care, Padilla is driving the same ride he had last year!
I have a picture of Kemp in the cages, but i'm having trouble dropping it in the story.