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Spring Training Highs and Lows

With less then two weeks to go until the opening bell who has been impressive and unimpressive so far. Yes I know spring training stats don't matter unless your name is Elbert and McDonald but we can take a look and see some trends besides averages and such.

Here are the Dodger spring training stats

Let us start with the two biggest question marks.

Blake DeWitt started out in a two person battle with Belliard but it was apparent from the get go that management was going to give DeWitt a chance to prove himself. Offensively he has been up to the task and more. He leads the team with plate appearances, hits, total bases, runs scored. Among the expected starting eight he also leads in batting average. More important then average and hits are the power and patience he is showing. Since DeWitt is starting just about every game he's doing this against the other teams expected rotational members and not against minor leaguers. With six walks in 45 plate appearances he continues a trend I expect to continue into the regular season which will be a 80-100 point spread between his average and his OBP. If DeWitt only hits .260 I still think he has a chance to have at least an average OB%. His power this spring is also noteworthy with five XBH in 14 hits. No doubt Blake DeWitt will not continue to have a plus .990 OPS but I do think he is very capable of giving us the .750 - .780 OPS that we need from him.

AJ Ellis has always been a walk machine and many have stated that once he hit the majors that one skill would quickly find itself wanting since his lack of power would find him getting challenged. Well if you have been watching or listening to the games you might have noticed something. AJ Ellis is always on base. He leads the team in walks with eight even though he has only had the 6th most plate appearances in camp. He has as many hits as walks fueling his .471 OBP. He also continues to prove he has no power with only one XBH. AJ Ellis may not have the bat for a starting catcher but he has looked to me like a man who is ready to be a very solid backup catcher. I think this is the last year we bring in an outside person to be Martins caddy. AJ Ellis is ready for the gig.

Rafy Furcal is still not hitting but at least he is walking which may be more important. Once upon a time Rafy owned some plate discipline and as recently as 2008 it was a big part of his game.

Garrett Anderson is doing what he has always done, swing the bat. No walks but eight hits in 20 at bats. He is what he is. Barring injury Garrett has made this team.

While Belliard struggles, Jamie Carroll has his stroke going and leads the guys expected to be on the team with a .474 OBP.

Twto kids drafted in 2009 had some fun in big league camp. Cavazos-Galvez had one at bat and hit a booming home run. So he gets to end his 2010 spring training major league games with a 4.0 Slug%. Doesn't get any better then that for a guy who may never get a single major league at bat in his career. Trying to keep up was Mario Songco who slugged a double and home run in his three at bats.

None of the regulars other then Furcal are struggling, the bats look ready for the start of the season.

Now let us have some fun with the pitching.

Ramon Ortiz has struck out 17 in 13 innings of work and he's doing that against starting lineups for the most part. The next closest is Kershaw with 10 and Russ Ortiz with 10. That is alot of strikeouts for Ramon Ortiz. It is so many strikeouts he is 2nd in major league baseball. Heads are being scratched everywhere because most of the other names in the top 9 are guys who are expected to be big contributors to their teams this year. Go figure

The guys battling for the number five spot all have sterling whips. Led by the Monk at .092, Ramon Ortiz at 1.03, Eric Stults at 1.13, and Russ Ortiz at 1.15. These guys are doing what they need to do. They might all be pumpkins but so far they are magnificent in March.

Then you have Elbert and McDonald the past two winners of the Dodger Minor League Pitcher of the Year award pitching like you would have expected the Ortiz's to pitch. McDonald gave up 14 hits in five innings and won't get another chance to improve on those numbers. They stunk. They be pitching in AAA.

Chris Withrow has added some excitement to camp and made me feel good at the same time. When Baseball HQ excluded WIthrow from their top 100 we had a heated debate about his future. Watching him strike out five of the seven hitters he has face with ZERO walks left not only me but all of TBLA, and Joe Torre wanting more.

Josh Lindblom may not have the shiny star of Withrow but he has done what Elbert and McDonald couldn't. Throw strikes and get people out.

Kuo appears like he's ready after giving us a scare in Taiwan and maybe just maybe Belisario will show this week.

The most important thing that has happened so far this spring is that other then the Martin injury we have come to March 23rd unscathed.