PHOENIX — Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is not expected to swing a bat for the next two weeks, dealing with tendinitis in his right elbow. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com has more:
"It's tennis elbow from just working out, too much hitting and boxing," said Gonzalez. "I felt it while working out in early December and it didn't seem like much, but it hasn't gone away.
"They told me to take a few weeks off so it won't linger and flare up and bother me going into the season. It's precautionary. Better to take care of it now than six weeks from now."
That timetable essentially wipes out the first week of Cactus League games for Gonzalez, with play starting Feb. 25. Depending on how long the elbow bothers Gonzalez, it could put his participation in the World Baseball Classic in jeopardy, with Mexico in Pool play from March 9-13.
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Austin Barnes has proven to be versatile in his two years with the Dodgers, with major league starts at second base plus limited time at third base in addition to catching. But now, with a more substantial major league role as the backup to Yasmani Grandal, Barnes will stick to catching this spring.
"It is asking a lot of a player to move around, and we already know he can defend it if we need him out there at second base. But with the depth that we have, we have guys like Kikè [Hernandez] and obviously Logan [Forsythe] and Chase [Utley], we have guys who can handle that position,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Right now as we sit here today, Austin will solely be a catcher.”
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Cuban infielder Jose Miguel Fernandez reported to Dodgers camp on Friday, giving the club 23 non-roster invitees in camp. The infielder, signed to a minor league contract on Jan. 13, is expected to be in uniform with the Dodgers on Saturday, two days before reporting day for position players.
Roberts said he didn’t yet have a position for Fernandez, but wants to see him in workouts before deciding where best to play him.
The 29-year-old Fernandez, who is expected to start the season in the minors, will wear No. 87 in camp.
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The Dodgers’ selling of Darin Ruf to the Samsung Lions in the Korean Baseball Organization isn’t yet official but is expected to be within a few days. Ruf will go through release waivers, making room on the 40-man roster for one of Chase Utley or Franklin Gutierrez.
Position players are scheduled to report to camp on Monday.
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Asked if the Dodgers might parlay their pitching depth into using a six-man starting rotation, Roberts was pretty clearly against it, saying, "I don't think that's an option."
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Old friend alerts, coming (back) ...
Meanwhile -- former #Dodgers LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (now 35) has signed minor-league contract with #Padres. (Logan White connection again)— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 17, 2017
... and going
#Marlins 26-year-old LHP Chris Reed voluntarily retired this week. He was a #Dodgers first-round pick from Stanford in 2011.— Matt Eddy (@MattEddyBA) February 17, 2017