The Dodgers’ game against the Rockies got rained out on Wednesday night, but we did see Julio Urías, Austin Barnes, Mookie Betts, and Will Smith move on to the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic, after Mexico beat Canada and Team USA bested Colombia yesterday.
At Camelback Ranch, Freddie Freeman was back in camp getting treatment on his right hamstring. Both he and the Dodgers were not all that concerned about the first baseman’s injury.
.@FreddieFreeman5 said he felt tightness in his hamstring on a swing yesterday and adds that Opening Day will not be in doubt. pic.twitter.com/ObqIEAyPV8— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) March 16, 2023
Freeman did say his injury, which caused him to miss Canada’s final WBC game on Wednesday, was especially tough. “I feel like I let them down,” he told Mike DiGiovanna at the Los Angeles Times.
Noah Syndergaard’s quest for a rebound with the Dodgers was chronicled by Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register, including praise from pitching coach Mark Prior. “He was really good and he got hurt and he had a good year last year,” Prior told Plunkett. “So I don’t view this as a huge flyer that we’re taking.”
The Dodgers have hired Excel Sports Management to find a sponsor for its jersey patch, reports Terry Lefton at Sports Business Journal, who notes the Dodgers jersey patch is “expected to be one of the most lucrative in MLB.” Excel also repped the Angels and Red Sox jersey patch deals, with Boston’s deal worth $170 million over 10 years. Last April, the Dodgers hired Sportfive to handle the sale of both a jersey patch and naming rights (or “presenting partnership” as the team called it) to Dodger Stadium, but to date has not struck a deal for either.
At Dodgers Digest, Dustin Nosler and Josh Thomas combined forces to rank the top 33 Dodgers prospects. They are particularly high on Ronan Kopp, rating the left-hander drafted in 2021 No. 14 overall, after he posted an eye-popping 38-percent strikeout rate last year but also walked 15 percent.
“There’s ample reliever risk here, but the ceiling is off the charts,” Nosler wrote. “Indeed, this is the kind of situation the Dodgers salivate over – huge tools, raw enough to fall into their laps, and then let the best dev guys in baseball cook.”
Patrick Ellington Jr. at his newsletter, The Red Black Green Baseball Blog, continued his series at notable Black families in MLB history with a profile of Maury Wills and his son Bump.
In a scene that seems more suited for ‘Moneyball’ than the richest team in the sport, the Yankees make their players pay for wireless internet access on team flights. Stephanie Apstein at Sports Illustrated has the details in an incredibly entertaining story.