Spring Training Notes #7 - February 20

The second full squad workout of the spring took place on Friday, and the club is now six days away from its first exhibition game on Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa. The entire team gathered on Field 1 today to discuss pick offs and holding runners. In addition, pitchers went through more PFP (pitchers' fielding practice), and hitters took to the batting cage.

  Non-roster right-hander Yhency Brazoban has been shut down with right shoulder inflammation.  Right-hander Cory Wade, meanwhile, is still shut down with inflammation is his right shoulder, and Joe Torre said he may start throwing again on Sunday.  Right-hander Travis Schlichting will start throwing from a kneeling position very soon.  

The first Dodger intrasquad game will take place on Monday at 12:00 noon.  Joe Torre today announced the pitchers who will take the mound that afternoon.  The group includes Jason Schmidt, Jonathan Broxton, Erick Threets, Greg Miller, Scott Elbert, Justin Orenduff, Jesus Castillo, Brent Leach, Victor Garate, and Jacobo Meque.  

Today is the Dodgers' annual photo day, where each player in camp poses in uniform for different media outlets, baseball card companies, and video games. This year, the Associated Press, Getty Images, Topps, Wilson, Sony, MLB Photos, and Photofile will all be here to capture images of the Dodgers. Of course, team photographer Jon SooHoo will also be on hand to click away.  SooHoo is entering his 24th season with the club.  It'll be an early morning for the team, with things getting underway at 7:30 a.m.  

The Dodgers have five players on the 40-man roster who make their off-season and Spring Training home in the Phoenix area.  Chad Billingsley and Scott Elbert reside in Surprise, Russell Martin and Jason Schmidt make their home in Scottsdale, and Andre Ethier lives in Chandler.  

The Dodgers have 11 first-round draft picks in camp, including three who are supplemental first-round selections.  Of the 11 first-round players, Chad Billingsley (24th overall in 2003), Blake DeWitt (28th overall in 2004), Scott Elbert (17th overall in 2004), Clayton Kershaw (seventh overall in 2006), James Loney (19th overall in 2002), Greg Miller (31st in 2002), Justin Orenduff (33rd overall in 2004), and Jason Repko (37th overall in 1999) were selected by the Dodgers. 

The other three are non-roster invitees Shawn Estes (11th overall in 1991 with Seattle), Eric Milton (20th overall in 1996 by Yankees), and Jeff Weaver (14th overall in 1998 by Detroit).  DeWitt, Elbert, and Kershaw all made their Major League debuts in 2008 with the Dodgers.  

For the past two days, ESPN's primetime newsmagazine television show E:60 has been following Vice President and Assistant G.M. Kim Ng for a profile piece that will air in April.  The show's host, Lisa Salters, has spent time with Ng on the practice fields, in her office, and barbequing a meal at her Spring Training residence.  

Casey Blake has a brother Ben who was drafted by Cleveland in the 32nd round in 1992.  Ben played one pro season, going 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA in 13 games (five starts) with short-season Single-A Watertown in 1992.   Ben celebrates his 39th birthday tomorrow.  Happy birthday, Ben.  Casey, of course, would go on to play for Cleveland from 2003-08 after originally being drafted by Toronto in 1992.  

Dodger Spring Training invitee left-hander Carmen Cali joins the Dodger organization after spending the last two seasons in the Minnesota chain.  He last year played with Triple-A Rochester, going 5-1 with a 4.52 ERA in 50 games.  The 30-year-old last appeared in the Majors in 2007, going 0-1 with a 4.71 ERA in 24 games with the Twins.  The 2009 campaign is Cali's 10th pro season.  He was originally drafted by St. Louis in the 10th round in 2000.  

The Camelback Ranch – Glendale complex is only 11.6 miles from the Peoria Sports Complex, where the Padres and Mariners hold Spring Training.  That marks the shortest distance the Dodgers will travel to play a spring game. 

The Dodgers are set to play San Diego and Seattle a combined three times in Peoria.  Keep in mind, the closest complex to Dodgertown in Vero Beach was the Mets' facility in Port St. Lucie, 34.7 miles away and a 45-minute drive. 

The Surprise Recreation Campus, where the Rangers and Royals train, is just 14.1 miles away from Camelback Ranch.  The Dodgers will travel there twice.  The Indians' complex in Goodyear is 16.2 miles away.  The Dodgers will pay one visit there.