Spring training has officially started. And with two games won out of seven, it is hardly something to be cheering about. As the season begins to unravel, we are seeing where the Dodgers strengths and weaknesses lie.
On Wednesday March 5th, the Dodgers faced the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie. Not their best game to say the least.
Before the game started, there were already some issues. Left-hand pitcher, Hong-Chih Kuo, was not allowed to play after complaining of an irritation in the back of the elbow. The same elbow where bone chips were removed last summer.
“I just felt a little sore,” Kuo said. “I’m just taking a couple of days off and I’ll be ready to go.”
Manager Joe Torre said he wasn’t sure when Kuo would pitch again. But Kuo is optimistic saying, that he expects to throw a bullpen session today and possibly pitch in Saturday’s game against St. Louis.
The injury could keep Kuo from making the trip to China next week and worse, possibly affect his chance at the fifth spot in the pitching rotation.
“It felt better after surgery, and this is just part of rehab I have to go through,” said Kuo. “I’ll be alright.”
I hope so.
In related news, two days just before his 40th birthday, Jeff Kent is showing signs of his antiquity.
During warm-ups before the game against the Mets, Kent strained his right hamstring. Five sprints into his warm up, Torre said, “he felt something grab.”
Although we are still unclear of the extent of the injury, it seems medical staff and Torre are trying to down play it, saying that it isn’t more than minor pains and that Kent should be back in a week.
The soon to be 40-year-old second baseman said he didn’t think it was too bad.
Let’s keep in mind that last season, Kent led the Dodgers with 20 home runs. Not bad for his age.
Come on Kent! Let's show these young players how's it done!
So where do the Dodgers go from here?
Torre isn’t taking any chances. He knows what needs to be done to keep his squad healthy, and if sideling them until they get better is what he needs to do, he will.
On a side Dodger Blue note: The Dodgers will face the Boston Red Sox today at 10:05 a.m. (PT) on ESPN.