PHOENIX — The first day of Dodgers spring training camp at Camelback Ranch is in the books, with pitchers and catchers all reporting for duty.
Several position players were in camp as well, far ahead of Monday’s reporting day. With no formal workouts scheduled for them, many got their own work in, usually in the batting cages. Among the position players already in camp are Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Willie Calhoun, Chris Taylor and Darnell Sweeney.
Wednesday was technically just a day to report and take physicals, “the first day of school” was how Clayton Kershaw described it. But there were also several pitchers who threw bullpen sessions as well, including Kershaw, Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood.
Here is a summary of some relatively newsworthy items from Wednesday that weren’t already covered:
Hyun-jin Ryu enters camp healthy and with no restrictions, and is expected to throw a bullpen session on Thursday. But the Dodgers plan to take it a little slowly with Ryu during camp, especially after he was limited to one start in the last two seasons.
"All the reports have been extremely good. What that means, we'll see,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “He's done everything he can this offseason to come into camp and reclaim his spot. We're all excited to get a chance to lay eyes on him.”
The Dodgers are also being cautious with outfielder Trayce Thompson, who missed the final 2½ months of last season with fractures in his back. The good news is that Thompson has resumed all baseball activities, including hitting and running. But the club will make sure he is fully ready before his return.
"He's obviously a little behind in seeing live pitching. He's working his way back,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We have to keep an eye on him because he's going to want to get back out there as soon as he can. That's a credit to him and his attitude.”
With 11 starting pitchers on the 40-man roster, figuring out the Dodgers rotation will be one of the biggest questions of the spring. Friedman on the starters:
"We saw the value of depth firsthand last year. Hopefully it's something we see less of this year. We just know it's there. These things have a way of playing themselves out, and when we get down to the end of spring training hopefully we have really tough decisions to make.”
While noting it was too early to nail down a batting order, Roberts clarified an earlier comment on Logan Forsythe possibly batting leadoff for the Dodgers.
"He's a top of the order guy, but when I say top of the order I mean somewhere 1-2-3,’ Roberts said, “doesn't necessarily mean the leadoff guy.”
With Chase Utley available to back up second base, the Dodgers plan to use Forsythe to backup Justin Turner at third. But Roberts said he’d like to see more of Forsythe in spring training before determining if he might also backup shortstop as well, a position Forsythe has played 19 times in his career, the last in 2014.
"I'd like to get more eyes on him. I know he can play third base, and he's a plus defender at third. And we know he's at second base,” Roberts said. “To play short in a pinch makes sense. I've seen it.”
Friedman said Cuban infielder Jose Miguel Fernandez, signed to a minor league contract on Jan. 11, could have his visa issues worked out in time to arrive in big league camp (as a non-roster invitee) either when position players report on Monday or very soon after.
"Right now it's just about getting him at-bats. He's missed a lot of playing time,” Friedman said. “We'll ease him into activity, get him at-bats, and see how his body responds.”
Jack Murphy is wearing number 64 in camp. He was listed as number 60 (same as Andrew Toles) in the initial spring training roster announcement.
Among those scheduled to pitch a bullpen session on Thursday are Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir, Ryu, and Kenley Jansen.