12/20/11 4:35 PM EST
Dodgers invite 15 to developmental minicamp
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Here's the invitation list:
Pitchers (8): Steven Ames, Michael Antonini, Rubby De La Rosa, Stephen Fife, Shawn Tolleson, Josh Wall, Allen Webster and Chris Withrow.
Position players (7): Alex Castellanos, Griff Erickson, Tim Federowicz, Tyler Henson, Alfredo Silverio, Scott Van Slyke and Matt Wallach.
The group includes last year's organizational Pitcher of the Year (Tolleson) and Player of the Year (Van Slyke), as well as three midseason acquisitions via trade -- Fife, Castellanos and Federowicz. Henson was acquired from Baltimore for Dana Eveland during the Winter Meetings. De La Rosa (recovering from Tommy John surgery), Erickson, Wallach and Withrow attended the 2011 minicamp.
Six of last season's invitees appeared in the Major Leagues for the Dodgers during the season -- De La Rosa, Javy Guerra, Nathan Eovaldi, Justin Sellers, Dee Gordon and Jerry Sands.
This will be the fifth year of the developmental minicamp, which is designed to take the best and brightest of the farm system, accelerate their Major League arrival and aid acclimation to what they will encounter when they get there.
Among earlier participants are Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. Assistant general manager De Jon Watson's minicamp also allows club officials to get a line on each player's conditioning prior to Spring Training and to tweak flaws in a pitcher's delivery or a hitter's swing before the start of the real camp, where the player is focused on making the club.
They receive coaching on baseball skills, but also are instructed in aspects of Major League Baseball that should be essential but often are overlooked, from media relations to security issues to interaction with fans and the importance of community outreach.
In addition to a daily workout at the stadium, the players will meet with former Dodgers and attend functions in the community.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.