Adams is the latest addition to Dodgers camp this spring, sporting, appropriately enough, the number zero, signing a minor league contract today, following his former team – the Philadelphia Phillies – opting not to pick up a $6 million club option back in October.
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound righty, manager Don Mattingly said on Sunday, is “not broken down,” having shoulder surgery two summers ago and undergoing chronic shoulder issues during his two-year tenure with the Phillies, during which he threw just 43.2 innings.
“We just look at it as high upside, and when this guy’s been healthy, he’s been really, really good, and we’ve go a chance to take a look at him in camp, and see what it looks like, and go from there,” said Mattingly.
Adams owns a career 2.41 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 407.1 career major league innings.
“I think, right now, we have enough innings, and that’s one of the reasons that we talk about it,” Mattingly said. “There’s going to be enough innings to get work and give everybody an opportunity to see what’s going on.
“Especially with a guy like this, you know if he’s healthy, he’s good. It’s a matter of being able to watch the bullpens, being able to get into those and make those, see how the ball’s coming out. It’s not like, ‘Can he pitch or not?’ What matters is, he’s healthy.”
Reigning MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw threw live batting practice on Saturday, going about 40 pitches.
“It was fine. It was work,” Mattingly said. “It’s part of the process of getting in there with hitters, and it’s all steps for the hitters, steps for him to get in there to have a guy up there. That’s one of the things you get away from during the winter. You can do your bullpens and all those types of things, but until a hitter’s in there and a catcher’s back there, he’s actually swinging or not swinging, it’s part of the process.”
Mattingly said that he and the staff are trying as much as possible to keep the new middle infield of Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick together during drill work, and when games start on Wednesday, during exhibitions, as well, to get them used to one another.
“These are guys that have been around a little bit, and played long enough, that they’re going to talk: ‘Where do you like it? Where do you want it?’ that type of thing, and then they can basically practice it,” Mattingly said.
Darwin Barney -- who played 22 games for the Dodgers last season at both shortstop and second base – is also in the mix with those two.
“With Darwin, I haven’t thought about it as much as trying to group him, exactly, because he’s going to be back and forth in different positions,” Mattingly said. “His will be more giving him reps at different spots, and getting him used to a lot of different situations, as opposed to just one certain guy he’s getting used to.”
Both Hyun-Jin Ryu and Joel Peralta will throw bullpens on Monday, Mattingly said.
Ryu is one of seven lefties the Dodgers have in camp, with Kershaw and newcomer Brett Anderson slotted for the starting rotation, as well. That leaves four lefties for a treasured few spots in the bullpen.
“I just think you try to take your best guys,” Mattingly said. “Sometimes, it’s maybe alright, and if it was five lefties, you try to take the best arms. Some lefties get both sides out, some righties get both sides out, and I think you probably try to stay away, as much as possible, from guys that just get one side out – a lefty that just gets a lefty out – it puts you in a bind as far as how you can use him. It’s always nice to have guys that get both sides of the plate out, and, depending on our personnel, when we get ready to break, that’s the decisions we’ll make.”
Some quick hits from the final Sunday before games:
Mattingly on shortstop prospect Corey Seager: “I mean, he looks really good, obviously. A lot of things other people see are the same things we see … He looks really good. I think we all really like him.”
Mattingly on how his two new middle infielders are fitting in: “I think both of those guys come in with, in a sense, street cred, from the standpoint that the guys have been great players for a long time … We don’t ask them to do anything out of the ordinary. They won’t have to run for popularity contests. Just be themselves, and that’s going to be fine.”
Mattingly on top prospect Joc Pederson: “Joc is like all the prospects: You see him here in cap one year, and you know they’re not really going to make your club, but then he goes out and kind of slays Triple-A, and basically says, ‘I’m ready.’”