Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

An expected inch of rain and unplayable fields forced the Dodgers indoors on Sunday, marking the first time that the club has had an all-indoor workout at Camelback Ranch. Clayton Kershaw joined Eric Gagné, Josh Towers, Russ Ortiz, Jeff Weaver, Charlie Haeger, Jon Link, Brent Leach, Cory Wade, Juan Perez, Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen in throwing bullpens in the covered batting cages.

Local instructor Katherine Roberts led approximately 30 Dodgers in a 45-minute abdominal and lower back yoga session this morning. The Dodgers started offering yoga classes last season and will continue to have classes available to Major Leaguers every Sunday and to minor leaguers every Wednesday during Spring Training.  

LADugout.com's top-rated Dodger prospect, Dee Gordon, and top picks from the last three drafts Aaron Miller, Ethan Martin and Chris Withrow were among 48 minor league players to kick off early workouts on the minor league side of the complex yesterday. The rest of the minor league pitchers and catchers will report on March 4 with the full squad beginning workouts on March 10.  

  Quotes and Notes
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com had this to say about Eric Gagné: "Eric Gagné, trying to find the magic after 2 1/2 years of injuries, has been working with bullpen coach Ken Howell, who has been studying and comparing game video of Gagné dating back to his glory days with the Dodgers.  

"We're finding that I got into a lot of bad habits and it's my release point, I've been cutting across my body and not getting full extension," said Gagné. "It's been a while since I've been healthy. I can feel it when I fly open, but it helps when he gives me keys to watch for. A lot of it is thought process -- stay back, stay tall, stay on the rubber. That's what he's helping me with." -- Ken Gurnick  

Gurnick also mentioned that Brian Giles is not certain if the knee he fractured in 2007 can withstand a complete season. Giles told him "I feel healthy, but you don't know until you start pounding on it," he said of his knee, which underwent micro-fracture surgery in 2007. "I've always said, if it's too hard or I can't play well, I'll walk away myself. I did regular off-season workouts and they went well." ...  

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times quotes James Loney, who came into camp lighter but with much more muscle, as saying "I feel this is the year. It's the strongest I've ever felt. I think I lost some of the baby fat just by getting older."  

Loney said he spent most of his off-season in the Houston area working out with Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn and Scott Kazmir and made changes to his diet, eating more often but in smaller portions and replacing lemonade with water as his beverage of choice.  

Steve Dilbeck, in his L.A. Times blog reports that Vicente Padilla will start the Dodgers' Cactus League opener against the Chicago White Sox on March 5 at Camelback Ranch. Eric Stults will start the second game, Clayton Kershaw will start the third, Chad Billingsley the fourth and Hiroki Kuroda the fifth.

Dilbeck also notes that some are fussing at Camelback Ranch that Belisario's career as a Dodger might be in jeopardy, because his inability to secure a visa has kept him from reporting to Spring Training on time.

Dilbeck feels that Belisario didn't have a full Spring Training last season because of Visa problems and spent most of his time in minor-league camp, throwing only five innings with the big-leaguers all spring.

"But if for some reason Belisario doesn't seem prepared to face regular-season hitters by April 5, there's always the disabled list. The Dodgers can worry whether Belisario's 2009 performance was a fluke, but I doubt they need to worry that their prized set-up man will get away from them against their will. The main thing is to treat him carefully once he arrives, and make sure he doesn't rush himself into an ugly year like Will Ohman or Cory Wade had in 2009" he continued.

Tony Jackson, writing for ESPN-LA quotes Joe Torre as saying Scott Elbert isn't really a candidate for the rotation but that he is on a starter's program for the purpose of building up his innings.

Jackson also spoke to Ivan De Jesus, Jr., who said he had tried to play winter ball but had to shut it down early because of soreness. Says he feels good now and doesn't think he'll have any restrictions on him this spring. There is still some soreness, which he thinks he'll have the rest of his life (common with a broken bone), but he looks good and feels good.

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