We have arrived, the MLB offseason is officially over, at least for the Dodgers, with pitchers and catchers reporting to Camelback Ranch. The Dodgers will have a truncated camp in Arizona this year, so let’s look at some important dates to remember this spring training.
Thursday, February 8 is an important day not only because pitchers and catchers punch the clock, but also because it’s the first day the Dodgers can utilize the 60-day injured list.
Major league rules allow for teams to use the 60-day IL on the first day pitchers and catchers can report to camp, which per the collective bargaining agreement is no earlier than 43 days before opening day. For 28 MLB teams, opening day is March 28, which means they can start utilizing the 60-day IL on February 14. But with the Dodgers and Padres opening the regular season with two games in Seoul, South Korea on March 20-21, their spring training camps start earlier. Dodgers pitchers and catchers report Thursday and hold their first workout on Friday. The Padres report and hold their first workout on the same day, Sunday.
Thursday thus is the logical first day that the Dodgers, with a full 40-man roster, can finalize their pending deals with Clayton Kershaw and reliever Ryan Brasier. Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, and Nick Frasso are all coming off surgeries, and are the prime candidates to be placed on the 60-day IL.
Once Kershaw and Brasier are in the fold, the Dodgers will have 36 pitchers in camp — including 11 non-roster invitees — and six catchers.
Dodgers pitchers and catchers hold a first official workout on Friday. The first full-squad workout is Wednesday, February 14. A number of position players will report early and get extra work in. Shohei Ohtani, for instance, is already in Arizona.
Between the 40-man roster and NRI group, the Dodgers have 25 non-catcher position players in spring training, making for 61 total players in big league camp.
The workouts are all on the back fields at Camelback Ranch, with fans allowed to roam in designated areas, which on the Dodgers side of the complex are within view of the two main backfields.
The Dodgers and Padres get a little bit of a head start on the Cactus League schedule as well, opening up with a pair of games against each other on February 22-23. The first game that Thursday is in Peoria (12:10 p.m. PT), with Friday’s game at Camelback Ranch (12:05 p.m. PT). No other spring games are scheduled for Thursday, with only three others plus two exhibitions on Friday, before MLB begins its spring training schedule in earnest on Saturday, March 24.
The Dodgers play 21 games in 21 days while in Arizona, from February 22 through Wednesday, March 13. They have a split squad on Saturday March 2, hosting the Cubs and traveling to Maryvale to play the Brewers. The Dodgers are off on Monday, March 4. Thirteen of those games are at Camelback Ranch.
Several True Blue LA readers have organized a spring training meetup for that final week in Arizona, from March 7-13. Be sure to check out this post, by urbino, for details if you’d like to join them.
South Korea trip
The Dodgers and Padres will play the MLB’s first-ever regular season games in South Korea, with those two games on March 20-21. Both games start at 3:05 a.m. PT, and will be televised locally by SportsNet LA. For those outside of the greater Los Angeles (and San Diego) area, ESPN2 will televise the opener with ESPN showing Game 2.
Before those two games that count, the Dodgers will also play a pair of exhibitions in Seoul, with an 8 p.m. PT start at the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO on Saturday, March 16 (midday March 17 in South Korea), followed by a 3 a.m. PT game on Monday, March 18.
After already starting their regular season, the Dodgers come back to the United States. But rather than sit idle for six days, they will play three more exhibition games, with the annual Freeway Series against the Angels.
The first two games are at Dodger Stadium, with a 4:10 p.m. start on Sunday, March 24 and 6:10 p.m. on Monday, March 25. The Dodgers spring finale is in Anaheim on Tuesday, March 26 at 6:07 p.m.