Surprisingly picked by Joe Torre as the Dodgers’ Opening Day starter, Vicente Padilla not so surprisingly allowed 18 runs in 21.2 innings before landing on the disabled list with a nerve problem in his forearm.
Torre indicated yesterday that Padilla is unlikely to rejoin the rotation before June:
He is feeling better, but I don’t see him helping us this month … just from the fact that when he is ready to pitch, I don’t want to say he is starting all over again, but he will have a lot of work to do to get back on a mound at this level.
Meanwhile, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Dodgers are “scrambling” to find “worthy candidates” to replace Padilla. Torre picking Padilla to start on Opening Day was bad enough, but when a contending team is thrown completely out of whack by an injury to a pitcher who hasn’t had an ERA below 4.40 since way back 2003 … well, it’s not a great sign.
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!