The Dodgers didn’t have any rookie make their Opening Day roster, but that didn’t keep them from having some interesting prospect performances at spring training.
Who’s Hot: After flirting with hitting .400 in Triple-A last season, first baseman James Loney managed to top the mark this spring, hitting .414/.455/.500. But it still wasn’t enough for him to earn a roster spot.
“This kid had a great spring for us and he played well for us last season,” Little said. “In most cases, when you option a guy down to Triple-A, you have some things you want him to work on and get better at. In his case, we’re going to be looking for the opportunity to get him back up here.”
Loney didn’t take the news of the demotion well. Even before he got word, he was already making it clear that he was dreading the possibility.
“I don’t think about it too much because thinking about it is like a kick in the stomach,” he said. “I’m doing everything to show this team here that I can help make this team win.”
Etanislao Abreu made the most of extensive playing time, hitting .340/.339/.566 while playing both shortstop and second base. Abreu was named the team’s most impressive rookie in camp. He was supposed to miss two weeks after bruising his shoulder on a head-first slide late in camp, but he returned less than a week later. He’s headed to Triple-A, but he’s closer to a spot on the Dodgers’ roster than ever before after his strong spring.
Who’s Not: Andy LaRoche had an outside chance of taking the starting third base job away from Wilson Betemit with an outstanding camp. But a .175/.242/.211 spring ensured that LaRoche will begin the season in Triple-A. LaRoche also struggled defensively at third.
“Early on in camp, he had a little bit of a tough time (defensively),” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “I think that may have created a situation where he is pressing, and doing that with each and every play that he has.”
According to the story by BA correspondent Tony Jackson, the 23-year-old has shown good practice habits, but the Dodgers coaching staff doesn’t believe he’s always carried that same focus into the games.
Scott Elbert was roughed up in two outings with a 19.29 ERA thanks to giving up three home runs in 2 1/3 innings.