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Before the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled the trigger on their
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panxing18 Offline

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Dec 2018
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#1 Before the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled the trigger on their
GLENDALE Wily Peralta Jersey , Ariz. (AP) —January trade to bring back catcher Russell Martin, they watched enough video to convince themselves he would bounce back from career lows in batting average and slugging percentage.On the first official day of pitcher and catcher workouts Wednesday, they couldn’t be more pleased with the four-time All-Star.“Bringing Martin back, just him getting up to speed with our guys, the early returns have been unbelievable,” said Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president of baseball operations. “Not surprising just how much he’s already invested into our guys, the questions he’s asking. All he wants to do is win and you can see it in everything he does.”As a replacement for Yasmani Grandal, who signed as a free agent with Milwaukee, Martin is connecting with returning catcher Austin Barnes and eliminating concerns about the possibility of splitting time.“As far as Barnes, he looks like he’s a tremendous athlete, a good catcher, a good teammate,” Martin said. “Good teammates have one goal in common, they want the team to win and I think we share that so I am not going to be (complaining) at all about playing time. As long as we win games, and we put ourselves in position to hopefully win a championship, that’s all we can do.”Martin , who will turn 36 on Friday, has made the playoffs nine times in a 13-year career that began with the Dodgers (2006-2010), and continued with the Yankees (2011-12), Pirates (2013-14) and Blue Jays (2015-18).With Toronto out of the playoffs last season and committed to developing younger players, Martin did not play the last month and was limited to 289 at-bats, a far cry from his more than 500 at-bats in 2013, 2015 and 2016.“I was horrible last year,” Martin said. “Still a tough out, still could work a count, still hit the ball relatively hard, but it was a down year. I wasn’t as good as I can be. When you get older, they give an excuse for you, ‘Well, you’re getting old.’ But my body felt great. I got zero excuses.”He’s already pleased with the approach from new Dodgers hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc and his staff, including hitting strategist Brant Brown and assistant hitting coach Aaron Bates. Van Scoyoc came aboard Nov. 28 to replace Turner Ward, who was hired by the Reds, new home of former Dodgers Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp.From their analysis of Martin’s 2018 performance Alex Gordon Jersey , they recommend change.“They told me, ‘We can clean up your lower half. We feel we can synchronize it to where it is working together,'” Martin said.Manager Dave Roberts expects improvement.“No. 1, Russell gives you a professional at-bat, the quality of contact is there,” he said.“I am sure he understands there was an angle issue there, a negative angle consistently.”The goal is for the ball to jump off his bat via an effortless swing.“An effortless swing is a swing you can control, and when you are in control, you typically have better at-bats,” Martin said. “I’ve always been good at pitch recognition; I always draw walks . last season I was not in position (mechanically) to hit the ball.”Defensively, he is studying an analytics package provided by Friedman, which shows key aspects of each Dodgers pitcher. Plus, he is picking Barnes’ brain.“The biggest part about being a catcher is knowing your pitchers, building that relationship, building that confidence,” Martin said.Left-hander Rich Hill appreciates Martin’s seasoning.“One thing you can’t teach is experience, so what he brings into this clubhouse of over a decade of playing in the major leagues is going to help immensely ,” Hill said.Clayton Kershaw is the only Dodgers pitcher to have ever worked with Martin. They reunited on Tuesday for a bullpen session.“I thought their discussion during the pen session was great,” Roberts said. “I know Russell is very excited to catch him.”NOTES:Roberts said life without Puig “is going to be different.” ”It is going to be a quieter camp, whether that is good or bad.” … Closer Kenley Jansen threw his first bullpen Wednesday and was pleased with his spin rate, which dipped last season as he struggled to overcome a hamstring injury and dealt with atrial fibrillation. An August episode in Denver led to an ablation procedure on Nov. 26. “He looks great,” said Friedman. . Mark Prior will be the primary pitching coach in the absence of Rick Honeycutt, who underwent surgery Tuesday and is expected to be away for a few weeks while recovering. ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ramon Laureano grabbed the spotlight, and that was just fine with Edwin Jackson.Laureano made an outstanding defensive play in the third inning, helping Jackson and the Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-0 on Saturday night.With one out and Eric Young Jr. on first, Laureano raced into the gap in left-center to haul in Justin Upton’s drive. The rookie center fielder then completed the double play by uncorking a long throw to first .“He’s a game-changer,” Jackson said. “I’ve seen him make a play similar to that in Triple-A when I was in Nashville. I knew he had it in him but man, plays like that, if those don’t get you fired up then I don’t know what does.“First of all, to make the catch. And after that the throw. That’s what he’s capable of doing. He’s a playmaker for sure. I’m sure you’ll see much more of it.”Marcus Semien homered twice and Khris Davis also connected as Oakland won for the eighth time in 10 games. The A’s also stayed 1 1/2 games ahead of Seattle for the second AL wild card.Jackson (4-2) allowed three hits and walked three in 7 1/3 innings. Ryan Buchter got two outs and Emilio Pagan finished the five-hitter.But it was Laureano’s play that caught everyone’s attention.“That’s probably one of the more impressive things I’ve seen in baseball,” Oakland left fielder Chad Pinder said.“He knew exactly what he was doing. He put it right on the money.”Semien had three hits, scored three times and drove in four runs. He hit a three-run shot in the second and a solo drive in the fourth.Davis hit his 34th homer in the third, a solo drive to right that made it 5-0. Davis has 13 homers in his 20 games since the All-Star break.Los Angeles had won four in a row. Tyler Skaggs (8-8) was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings in his first start since coming off the disabled list after being sidelined by a left adductor strain.“I don’t know if he felt that great Mike Moustakas Jersey ,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He missed some time with the groin injury. It didn’t look like it was very crisp. On a night where obviously we needed some innings out of him, unfortunately he couldn’t get to a certain point of the game. He battled hard. He missed some spots, wasn’t very crisp and those guys hit the ball well.”A’s third baseman Matt Chapman hit a run-scoring single in the first inning to reach base safely in a career-high 25th consecutive game.THAT’S A LOT OF HOME RUNSSemien’s second homer of the night was No. 8,000 for the franchise since it moved to Oakland in 1968. The Athletics got the ball and will display it at home.LONG TIME COMINGAngels catcher Francisco Arcia, who made his major league debut last month after 12 years in the minor leagues, pitched a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit. He became the first position player to pitch for the Angels since Chili Davis on June 17, 1993. Arcia said he threw bullpen fastballs.“It was just fun,” Arcia said. “I got in the back of my mind when I was pitching in Little League.”TRAINER’S ROOMAngels: RHP Shohei Ohtani (strained right elbow) threw a light bullpen session.UP NEXTAthletics: RHP Trevor Cahill (4-2, 3.12 ERA) starts Sunday. He is 3-0 with a 3.76 ERA since coming off the disabled list on July 12.Angels: RHP Taylor Cole (0-2, 1.59 ERA) will open for Los Angeles, but Scioscia said it will be a bullpen game.
03-10-2019 10:46 PM
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