3/10/2014 8:42 P.M. ET
Rodriguez finds solution to mechanics problem
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Paco Rodriguez and the Dodgers' staff believe they've found a mechanical flaw that might explain his late-season tailspin last year.
After throwing a 1-2-3 inning Saturday night, the left-hander said the flaw, noticed when he breaks his hands at the start of his motion, grew progressively worse last year.
He said pitching coaches Rick Honeycutt, Ken Howell and Chuck Crim found the flaw and the fix.
"Once I figured it out, it was like, 'Wow, that's how it feels,'" said Rodriguez. "I was pitching so well, but my arm slowly came up and it took away from my ability to hide the ball. It's like night and day. I have a lot more control of my pitches."
Rodriguez said the fix was put in while playing catch Friday and he felt the difference immediately when he took it into Saturday night's game. He looked at old video and it confirmed to him he could get back to being the pitcher he was for most of last season.
"No doubt," he said. "I was showing the ball more than I normally do. Just one outing and it feels better."
Dodgers send five players to Minor Leagues
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers sent five more players to the Minor Leagues after Monday's game, including four-year veteran infielder Brendan Harris.
Pitcher Matt Magill was optioned. Reassigned were non-roster invitees right-hander Carlos Frias, catcher JC Boscan and infielders Harris and Clint Robinson.
Assuming Dee Gordon wins the job as the primary second baseman and Alex Guerrero opens in the Minor Leagues -- as it now appears -- the Dodgers still have some tough calls to make for their bench.
Outfielders Scott Van Slyke (right-handed hitter) and Mike Baxter (lefty) both could make it. Non-roster infielder Justin Turner (.368) seems to be ahead of Chone Figgins (.130) as a platoon player at second base, with Miguel Rojas behind them. Outfielder Joc Pederson is still in camp, but he's only 21 and needs to play regularly.
The third catcher going to Australia will be either Drew Butera, who is out of options, or Miguel Olivo, a non-roster veteran with a contract out clause in June.
Wilson gives LA health scare, but should be OK
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Reliever Brian Wilson gave the Dodgers a brief scare during Monday's exhibition game against Oakland.
While facing Addison Russell leading off the eighth inning, Wilson attracted the attention of pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, catcher Miguel Olivo, then manager Don Mattingly and finally assistant trainer Greg Harrell.
"Rick said something looked funny," Mattingly said. "I talked to Stan [Conte, the team trainer]. He said he's fine."
After a brief conversation, Wilson continued without taking a warm-up pitch. He allowed a long double to Russell, then an RBI single to Jose Martinez. Wilson then retired Luke Montz on a fly ball to right field and Mattingly returned to the mound to remove Wilson when he reached his 15-pitch limit.
The pitcher handed Mattingly the ball and went to the dugout with no apparent injury, relieved by Carlos Frias.
After talking to Wilson, Mattingly concluded that the reliever had too much time to warm up while the Dodgers scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh, recalling that Wilson was hit in a game in Cincinnati last year under similar circumstances.
Dodgers receive positive updates on Greinke, Kemp
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers received more good news on the recoveries of pitcher Zack Greinke and outfielder Matt Kemp.
Greinke threw a bullpen session Monday and apparently felt no discomfort in his right calf muscle. He then went through some fielding drills and could pitch in an exhibition game this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday, although club officials are wary of rushing him back.
Kemp felt well enough after his first intrasquad game action Sunday to play in another game on Monday, going 1-for-5 with a walk, sacrifice fly, two strikeouts and two RBIs. The sac fly and one strikeout were against 17-year-old prospect Julio Urias. Kemp has had no pain in the repaired left ankle.
Manager Don Mattingly said left-hander Onelki Garcia, recovering slowly from elbow and knee operations, is on a restricted throwing program.
Howell's wife completes feat 14 years in the making
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Monday's Dodgers injury report includes Heather Hennessy-Howell, the wife of reliever J.P. Howell, who completed Sunday's Los Angeles Half Marathon.
J.P. reported that Heather was sore, but doing fine after the culmination of a 14-year rehab.
That's right, 14 years. In 2000, at the completion of a cross-country training run through the Sierra Nevadas, Heather took the traditional 50-foot celebratory cliff-leap into Lake Tahoe and it went badly.
She landed awkwardly, suffered compression fractures of her back and neck, was airlifted to a hospital and spent four months in a body cast. Gone was her career as a competitive track and field athlete.
USC honored her scholarship, but she abandoned her running career, turned to communication and now is an author of children's books.
Howell ran in order to raise support and awareness for human trafficking. She is affiliated with "Run for Hope" and ran for two shelters located in Southern California: one is a 72-hour rescue center, and the other a long-term rehabilitation and restoration program that provides for intense counseling, medical and legal needs of victims, as well as GED and job search.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.