2/13/2014 8:05 P.M. ET
Shoulder issue has Puig on limited throwing program
Outfielder dealing with flareup of inflammation; Mattingly calls move 'precautionary'
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is already on a limited throwing program after a flareup of inflammation in his right shoulder that bothered him sporadically last year.
Manager Don Mattingly said Puig apparently overthrew his first day in camp and the club believes it is the same problem that he played through last year. Position players have been working out voluntarily this week leading up to Friday's first full-squad workout.
After taking batting practice, Puig played catch Thursday under the watch of trainer Stan Conte.
"We don't think it's serious, but we need to find out," Mattingly said, calling Puig's reduced throwing "precautionary."
The 23-year-old Puig was runner-up in National League Rookie of the Year voting last year, bursting on the scene by hitting .319 with 19 homers and 42 RBIs in 104 games, although he tailed off significantly after a record-breaking first month of June.
Puig had trouble adjusting to better pitching and struggled with fundamentals, such as hitting the cutoff man with throws and knowing when to take the extra base on offense.
Mattingly repeated earlier comments that he doesn't want to take away Puig's aggressive nature or enthusiasm for the game, but is looking for improvement nonetheless.
"His main challenge will be scouting reports," he said. "Once the competition starts and he shows spots he can't hit, shows tendencies, that's the adjustments you see from the baseball side. What they [pitchers] try to do and what adjustments he makes. It's a constant game of adjustments, of cat and mice.
"Last spring, it was hard not to like what you saw -- he hit .500 or .600. Over time, you see areas you're concerned about, certain fundamental things. But I won't modify the way he plays. It's hard to see a team get upset when a guy gets excited. Every team does it. They can't get mad when they do the same things. We just want him to play the game right."
On eve of first full-squad workout, club raring to go
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The first full-squad workout isn't officially until Friday, but nearly every Dodger was on the field at Camelback Ranch on Thursday.
Only Carl Crawford was absent, and that's because he was having wisdom teeth removed. He's expected to be in uniform with everybody else Friday. It seems this Dodgers team can't wait to get going.
Manager Don Mattingly will have his annual kickoff team meeting and club president Stan Kasten has flown in for the occasion.
"The last day of calm before the whole group is here," Mattingly said before Thursday's workout. "It will be more hectic tomorrow."
Because of the Opening Series in Australia, this will be a compressed Spring Training. Pitchers get a day off on Saturday before things get serious. The new Dodgers network, SportsNet LA, debuts Feb. 25, Cactus League games begin Feb. 26 and the team leaves for Australia on March 16. That means the Dodgers will play exhibition games for only 19 days (not counting one vs. Team Australia) before the Opening Series in Australia March 22-23 against Arizona, with the Freeway Series March 27-29 and the regular season resuming March 30 in San Diego.
"It's not a perfect situation," Mattingly said of the unique scheduling. "But going to Australia is good for the game."
Dodgers sign Mosquera, hire McDowell
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While working on the details of acquiring Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena, the Dodgers on Thursday announced the signing of Panamanian outfielder Carlos Mosquera.
The Dodgers also announced the signing of former All-Star pitcher Jack McDowell to manage Rookie Level Ogden.
McDowell is a former Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star who pitched 12 seasons with the White Sox, Yankees, Indians and Angels. This will be his first season of professional coaching. He retired from playing in 1999.
Singer Thicke to perform before April 5 game
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Interscope recording artist Robin Thicke will perform a three-song concert Saturday, April 5, on the field before the Dodgers' second home game of the season as part of Opening Weekend against the Giants.
The set list has not been finalized, but Thicke confirmed he will perform his Grammy-nominated hit "Blurred Lines." He also will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Thicke's pregame concert is free to fans with a ticket to the 1:10 p.m. PT game. Fans are encouraged to arrive early.
"We are very excited to welcome mega-artist Robin Thicke to Dodger Stadium and partner with Interscope in presenting this very special pregame performance as part of the Dodgers' Opening Weekend," said Lon Rosen, Dodgers executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
"Robin is a magnificent, iconic performer who is perfect to help our club launch the start of another thrilling year of Dodger baseball. We look forward to continuing to offer our fans exceptional entertainment at Dodger Stadium that complements our dynamic play on the field."
Thicke is the son of actors Alan Thicke and Gloria Loring.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.