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Spring training officially begins: Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to camp

Spring training begins anew on Thursday at Camelback Ranch.
Spring training begins anew on Thursday at Camelback Ranch.
Photo: Eric Stephen | True Blue LA

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- We have finally reached one of the greatest days on the calendar, the day pitchers and catchers report to Dodgers camp at Camelback Ranch.

Not much happens on reporting day, other than pitchers and catchers literally showing up to camp, though many may have been around already for a few days. Physical examinations will happen today, too, for the 37 pitchers and catchers due in camp today.

Well, 36 plus David Aardsma, whose deal hasn't yet been officially announced. Maybe his locker will already be prepared in the clubhouse, as was the case last year with Paul Maholm, who signed a one-year contract on the first day of camp.

Maybe the list is 35, with Kenley Jansen still recovering from surgery to remove a growth on the fifth metatarsal bone on his left foot on Tuesday. Jansen will be in camp eventually, though it is unknown exactly when.

Here are some questions about Dodgers pitchers and catchers at the front of my mind that will hopefully be answered during spring training:

Catching split

It seems unlikely that the key return piece in the Dodgers' trade of Matt Kemp will be a backup catcher. But the question is just how many games will Yasmani Grandal catch in 2015. Limited by injuries and a PED suspension the last two seasons, Grandal has started just 93 games total behind the plate in 2013-2014. Both Grandal and A.J. Ellis have said all the right things to date, that they just want to win and aren't worried about the time share.

Closing time

With Jansen expected to start the season on the disabled list, there will be competition during spring training to see who closes games for the Dodgers to start the season, with many options.

Anderson readiness

New Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson has a long medical history, limited to just 206 innings in the last four years combined, but has been free of arm injury since returning from Tommy John surgery in August 2012. Anderson's issue this spring is his recovery from surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back in August. He was expected to be ready, or close to it, by spring training, and it will be interesting to see how his spring program compares to other starters.

Barnes storming

The third catcher on the Dodgers' 40-man roster is Austin Barnes, acquired from the Marlins in December. Barnes is primarily a catcher, but has also played second base and third base in the minors. Once games start, I wonder how many innings he will see at positions other than behind the plate.

Urias watch

There will be a lot of attention paid to 18-year-old prospect Julio Urias, and for good reason. The left-hander is in his first major league camp, ready to be a sponge to absorb all that comes with that. Other than seeing Urias pitch in games, the camera-ready moment to watch will be - if Sandy Koufax makes an appearance in camp this year - if the two left-handers share a moment or two somewhere near a mound.

Sophomore opportunity

Pedro Baez, Daniel Coulombe, Carlos Frias and Yimi Garcia all made their major league debuts with the Dodgers in 2014. None of that quartet have a roster spot locked down for 2015, but there are few bullpen spots waiting to be claimed.