Dodgers Report: Hong-Chih Kuo

Cactus League: Indians 4, Dodgers 3

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
5:54
PM PT
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Clayton Kershaw celebrated his 23rd birthday by hitting a home run in a spring-training game. One year and one National League Cy Young Award later, the talented Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander celebrated turning 24 a little more quietly, by dropping a pair of sacrifice bunts in Monday's Cactus League game, a 4-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians before 3,101 at Goodyear Ballpark.
"I had to bunt, dadgummit,'' Kershaw said. "It was OK, though. At least I know I can get the bunt down."

Yeah, spring training is for working on everything, not just pitching. But for Kershaw, the pitching part continues to look regular season-ready, or something very close to it. He struggled in the first inning, giving up two hits, a walk and his first run of the spring in his third start. After that, though, it was pretty much vintage Kershaw, including five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

"Those first two or three innings, I was pretty erratic,'' Kershaw said. "I was missing with too many fastballs and getting behind to too many hitters. But I had a little bit better rhythm later on. Physically, I feel good. Pitching-wise, I just need to get better fastball command, and I think everything else will follow suit off that.''

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Status quo (but with no Kuo)

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
1:13
PM PT
With Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo basically forgotten now, free agency having taken them to Kansas City and Seattle respectively, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said today that he plans on opening the season with the same back-end bullpen alignment he used most of the second half of last year. That means Matt Guerrier in the seventh, Kenley Jansen (he of the 16.1 strikeouts per nine innings last year) in the eighth and Javy Guerra in the ninth (he of the 21 saves in 23 chances).

Jansen said he would like to be a closer one day, but that he isn't worried about it right now. Guerra said he's just trying to make the team. Pretty much what you would expect a couple of young pitchers to say on the first day of spring training, and they naturally added that whatever they did last year is now irrelevant.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.301 13 59 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 18
RBIA. Gonzalez 90
RD. Gordon 73
OPSY. Puig .882
WC. Kershaw 16
ERAC. Kershaw 1.73
SOC. Kershaw 194