Today's Dodgers 6-4 win over the Rangers at Camelback Ranch had it's moments, notably a booming Matt Kemp home run and three solid innings from Hiroki Kuroda, allowing just two unearned runs in his second start of the spring. But the star of the day was Chris Withrow, making his first career appearance in big league camp.
Withrow, who was voted by True Blue LA readers as the top Dodger prospect this winter, entered the game in the eighth inning, and proceeded to record all three outs via strikeout. Mitch Moreland, Kevin Richardson, and Max Ramirez all went down swinging against the fire-balling right-hander. "The kid's got a good arm," said manager Don Mattingly, "you like to see that." The only runner allowed by Withrow was a bad-grip curve ball that hit Chad "son of Jim" Tracy.
The youthful infusion inspired by Withrow extended to the offense, as fellow minor leaguer Brian Cavazos-Galvez crushed a home run over the bullpen in left field to start the bottom of the eighth.
Speaking of youth, Charley Steiner mentioned during the Prime Ticket broadcast that fellow highly-regarded pitching prospect Ethan Martin would likely pitch an inning on Monday in Tempe against the Angels.
Garret Anderson made his Dodger debut at designated hitter, collecting a hit in his three at-bats as the designated hitter. "I wanted to get him an extra at bat today so that why he was the DH," said Mattingly, "Garret looked OK. We're just getting him going. We'll talk to him in the morning about playing the field tomorrow. "
Regarding the battle for the second base job, Jim Bowden of XM and Fox Sports tweeted this (hat tip to Tripon for the link):
Larry Bowa told me that Blake DeWitt is in lead for Dodgers 2B opening
The Dodger plane from Taiwan is scheduled to touch down in Phoenix at roughly 5:45pm. Joe Torre is expected in camp tomorrow, but Mattingly said he wasn't sure if he or Torre would manage the next few games.
UPDATE: Rangers' pitcher Michael Kirkman, who was hit in the face by a grounder late in the game, narrowly avoided serious injury. From Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Left-hander Michael Kirkman was grazed in the left ear by a one-hopper hit back at him in the seventh inning and is OK. But both pitching coach Mike Maddux and trainer Jamie Reed said Kirkman was one inch from a "disaster."
Kirkman went down as the ball bounded into right field, but he was back on his feet before the play had ended.