The Dodgers fell behind early and were never able to mount any sor of an offensive charge on Thursday as they fell to the Cubs 8-1 at Camelback Ranch. Thursday had a decent amount of different things going on so let's recap the day in note form:
- Carl Crawford played catch after his six-plate-appearance stint as the designated hitter in a minor league game on Thursday. It was the first time in over two weeks that Crawford has been allowed to throw.
Mattingly said he would consider asking opponents later in the Cactus League schedule for permission to use the DH to get Crawford into some games, but we are not at that point yet.
- Ted Lilly skipped a bullpen session on Thursday because of illness, the second time this spring he has been sidelined due to illness. Mattingly said it is unknown as to whether or not Lilly will make his scheduled start on Sunday.
- Kenley Jansen received medical clearance and will pitch for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic semifinals. Jansen is scheduled to pitch Friday for the Dodgers, then will report to the WBC in San Francisco on Sunday. Jansen replaces Jonatan Isenia on the roster for the Netherlands. Isenia has a strained right elbow.
- Chris Capuano had his second shaky outing of the spring against Chicago, as he allowed five runs in 4⅓ innings, including a triple and a double. The plus side for Capuano are his 10 strikeouts and just two walks in 9⅓ Cactus League innings. But the downside are his 13 hits, four home runs, and 12 runs allowed, 11 earned, for a not-so-sparkly 10.61 ERA.
"It sounded like the command was off. He left a lot of balls in the middle of the plate," said manager Don Mattingly. "Cap's going to be a guy that's going to live by changing speeds and being able to hit corners, and when he's not, it's not a good thing."
- The Dodgers, on their first day back after Wednesday off, scored one run, and that single tally didn't come until two outs in the ninth inning. Mattingly saw it coming Thursday morning.
"It's one of those days that it feels like we've been here a long time now. Our drill work was pretty good this morning with defensive stuff, but then we got into offensive rotation and it seemed like there was no energy out there," Mattingly said. "I have a feeling it's not just us, but I still don't like it because if you don't play with energy you get bad habits. You have to push yourself through this individually."
- Mattingly said there would likely be more roster cuts after the two split squad days Friday and Sunday, as there simply aren't enough at-bats to go around, especially with the regulars beginning to play more and deeper into the games. Some players, like Tim Federowicz, might be able to get more at-bats in minor league games, which begin Friday. But for others, like Tony Gwynn Jr., the at-bats will start to dry up.
"For Tony it's hard to get at-bats right now for me. He's really running out of at-bats. A few guys are," Mattingly said. "Once you get past these split squad games, you have to get the regular guys going on track.
The Dodgers play a pair of games on Friday, and the Arizona weather is much hotter and drier than the rain that wiped out their day-night doublheader last Friday. Aaron Harang starts the first game, in Peoria against Anthony Bass and the Padres. Stephen Fife gets the call for the Dodgers at night against the Royals at Camelback Ranch, with Yordano Ventura starting for Kansas City.