PHOENIX — Wednesday saw a trio of Dodgers take important steps in returning from injuries, with Corey Seager, Andre Ethier and Scott Kazmir all on the mend. For two of the three, opening day looks promising.
Seager took swings in batting practice, and then fielded ground balls and threw from 60-90 feet, his most significant participation in baseball activities since feeling something in his side while throwing on March 3, his last Cactus League game.
"He's out there in full uniform, progressing slowly, but moving in the right direction,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Corey Seager (oblique) said he ran, threw, took 25 to 30 swings at half speed and felt fine. "It was fun sweating," he said.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 16, 2017
There isn’t yet a timetable for Seager to play in a game, but Roberts reiterated that Seager would “absolutely” be ready by opening day.
“For Corey, it's 15-20 at-bats you can get that we'd feel comfortable with him to start the season,” Roberts said. “We expect him to play a lot of games, so to make sure he's right physically that's number one. As we start the season, I'd rather be short on at-bats.”
Kazmir’s velocity still down
Scott Kazmir, dealing with hip issues that affect his delivery, pitched five simulated innings against minor league hitters on a back field at Camelback Ranch. He sounded positive about his outing, and says he’s healthy, at least.
"He's got to continue to build that arm strength,” Roberts said. “From everything I hear, he's healthy.”
As of now, Kazmir is not yet scheduled to pitch in a Cactus League game. And he likely won’t until he gets his velocity up. Roberts said Kazmir was only throwing 82-84 mph on Thursday.
"We've still got to see improvement in velocity at some point,” Roberts said. "His arm feels good and he feels strong, but it's still not coming out the way we want.
Andre Ethier, who last played in a game on March 6, will likely get three at-bats on Friday night, either playing left field or as the designated hitter. Ethier has been dealing with hip and back issues.
Sergio Romo is dealing with a sore back, believed to be suffered on the flight back from the World Baseball Classic in Mexico. He is expected to resume workouts on Friday.
Scott Van Slyke and Ralston Cash beat Clayton Kershaw and Darnell Sweeney on Wednesday morning in the finals of the Dodgers spring ping pong tournament, winning the best-of-three series two games to one.
The Dodgers play a split-squad games on Friday night, with Clayton Kershaw starting at Camelback Ranch against the Mariners at 7:05 p.m. (televised by SportsNet LA), and Alex Wood starting in Peoria against the Padres at 7:10 p.m.