NL West Notes: Dickerson, Dodgers, Ohtani, D-backs

Padres outfielder Alex Dickerson has been diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his left (throwing) elbow, and surgery is a possibility, writes’s AJ Cassavell. It’s a tough break for the 27-year-old Dickerson, who missed all of the 2017 season following back surgery but showed some promise at the plate in his rookie campaign in 2016. That year, Dickerson slashed .257/.333/.455 with 10 homers in 285 plate appearances while walking at a 9.1 percent clip and fanning in just 15.4 percent of his plate appearances. Per Cassavell, the club is “hopeful” that Dickerson won’t require Tommy John surgery, but even if he doesn’t require surgery, he’s likely to miss at least the first month of the season.

More from the NL West…

  • Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times takes an excellent look at the Dodgers’ failed pursuit of Shohei Ohtani. The team had Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner and Chris Taylor fly into L.A. to help sell Ohtani on the Dodgers in their in-person meeting, but it proved to be a somewhat frustrating experience. Both Turner and Kershaw candidly stated that the process felt like a “waste of time,” indicating that Ohtani already seemed set on signing with an AL club where he could serve as a part-time DH. Kershaw didn’t express any ill feelings toward Ohtani himself, though he voiced some frustration toward CAA, Ohtani’s agency, over the matter. “I’m kind of mad at his agent for making us waste all that time and effort,” said Kershaw. “Fifteen teams should have been out of it, from the beginning.” Ohtani’s agent with CAA, Nez Balelo, issued a rebuttal to McCullough in which he calls any assertion that Ohtani would meet with a team for which he had no interest in playing “unfounded and an insult to [Ohtani’s] personal ethics.” Balelo also points out that Ohtani met with more NL clubs (four) than AL clubs (three). It’s a fascinating column that is filled with quotes from Kershaw, Turner, Balelo, Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman.
  • The D-backs have plenty of roster decisions to make by the end of Spring Training, but the bench presents a particularly enigmatic situation, writes Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. GM Mike Hazen and skipper Torey Lovullo need to determine whether they plan to carry seven or eight relievers, which will determine whether they utilize a four- or five-man bench. Even if it’s the latter, there are numerous battles for a spot. Lovullo calls a third catcher a “luxury” that he enjoyed in 2017, but Chris Herrmann or John Ryan Murphy (the two men who’d compete to fill that role) are vying with Yasmany Tomas and possibly Christian Walker for a potential fifth bench slot. The first four slots figure to go to Jeff Mathis, Chris Owings, Jarrod Dyson and Daniel Descalso, with Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte likely holding the up-the-middle starting gigs. Notably, both Herrmann and Murphy are out of minor league options.

from MLB Trade Rumors


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