Last season it wasn’t an issue because at least one player was always hurt, but this season the Dodgers have four very good outfielders for three starting spots with Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier.
That means at least one of them is on the bench each game and it also means Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times asked general manager Ned Colletti if he plans to trade an outfielder:
It’s a situation we’re going to have to deal with. But we’re always going to be one injury away from not having to deal with it. It gives everybody a chance to take a breath, get a day. Everybody likes to play, but I think it’s sometimes beneficial to take a day.
Complicating things is that the guys the Dodgers might actually want to trade–read: not Puig–all have huge contracts that teams likely won’t be lining up to take on. And of course the Dodgers probably care less about dumping big contracts than any other team, so having too many good outfielders is a nice problem to have. For now at least.
Oh, and their fifth outfielder, Scott Van Slyke, is making the minimum salary while producing a .974 OPS in a part-time role.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.