3/4/2014 8:22 P.M. ET
Fife among first round of cuts by Dodgers
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Less than two weeks before leaving for Australia, the Dodgers on Tuesday made their first cuts of camp, sending 10 players to the Minor League complex.
Optioned were roster pitchers Pedro Baez, Stephen Fife, Yimi Garcia, Jarret Martin and outfielder Nick Buss. Reassigned were non-roster pitchers Sam Demel, Daniel Moskos and Chris Reed, and catchers Chris O'Brien and Griff Erickson.
Of the group, Fife has the most Major League experience, having started 15 games for the Dodgers the last two years, but the right-hander was on a reduced throwing program to prevent a recurrence of the shoulder tendinitis that plagued him last year.
The Dodgers have 47 players in camp, plus Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena, who has not yet arrived. They can take only 30 players on the trip to Australia, with 25 eligible to play in the two games against Arizona.
Wilson flings knuckler; Gordon strong at second
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Tuesday's game for the Dodgers started with reliever Brian Wilson throwing a knuckleball for a strike and included two defensive gems by Dee Gordon, continuing to look like a serious candidate at second base.
Wilson shrugged off the question about the knuckleball he threw to Seattle's Brad Miller -- "A strike-one pitch, I don't know what it was" -- but it was a knuckleball and a good one, a fitting way for the hard thrower to begin a game pitched by relievers in place of the injured Zack Greinke.
Wilson said he's not only ready now for the season to start, "I'm ready when I come into camp, that's the way I play. I don't know how to pitch at 75 percent. Right now I'm 100 percent."
Also pitching for the Dodgers were relievers Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Jayme Wright, Chris Perez, Chris Withrow and Red Patterson. Howell was charged with three runs (two earned), but manager Don Mattingly pointed out that he wasn't hit hard. Wright also allowed a run.
Withrow pitched two scoreless innings, but in part because of Gordon. He seems to have moved into Skip Schumaker's role of second base/center field with a chance to become the primary second baseman, where he seems better suited than his natural shortstop position.
The second baseman supposedly would have been Cuban Alex Guerrero, but the fact that he hasn't started there in three of the past four games is a strong indication that he'll open the season in the Minor Leagues and continue the transition from shortstop. The Dodgers figure to open with a second-base platoon involving some combination of Gordon, Justin Turner, Chone Figgins, Brendan Harris and Miguel Rojas.
Figgins started Tuesday at second base, his fifth different position. That versatility could win him a job after sitting out a season, although Mattingly said his most recent at-bats have been "more stagnant" than his earlier ones.
Prospect Stripling to have Tommy John surgery
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitching prospect Ross Stripling will undergo Tommy John right elbow reconstruction Wednesday in Los Angeles, manager Don Mattingly confirmed Tuesday.
Stripling tore his ligament while throwing live batting practice Feb. 23, didn't tell anybody about the injury, then pitched one inning Feb. 26 before reporting the discomfort. An MRI revealed the extent of the injury.
Tommy John surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Everything happens for a reason!- Ross Stripling (@RossStripling) March 4, 2014
Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the same operation from which Chad Billingsley and Scott Elbert are rehabbing.
Stripling was ranked as the 10th-best prospect in the organization by MLB.com, while the Dodgers considered him right behind Zach Lee among Minor League pitchers who could make their Major league debuts this year.
He was a fifth-round pick in 2012 out of Texas A&M and split time last year between Class A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga for a combined 8-4 mark and 2.82 ERA.
"He had been throwing the ball good," said Mattingly, who spoke to Stripling on Monday. "He had a pretty good idea once they saw the MRI. He seemed OK, disappointed."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.