Thoughts From The Last Day Without Dodger Baseball Until April

brian_barden_springReal life has become extremely busy over the last few days, so we’re going to lightning round this business. Lists! The last resort of the lazy or overworked blogger.

*** Brian Barden, Jeremy Moore, & Hector Luna have all been reassigned to minor league camp, which just goes to show, there’s more to life than hitting .478/.538/.565 in 26 spring training appearances when you’ve washed out of the Japanese minor leagues. Moore actually showed a lot in camp, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do in everyday play in Albuquerque. That’s assuming that he is in fact a starter there, but he’s far more appealing that Matt Angle or Scott Van Slyke, so I’d think he’ll get his chance (assuming again that Yasiel Puig is in Chattanooga).

*** Zack Greinke & Carl Crawford are each working their way back from injury, and the news sounds optimistic from Crawford. He took live batting practice off of J.P. Howell & Kenley Jansen, but he still hasn’t resumed throwing. Greinke didn’t offer many details about how he’s feeling, but he also hasn’t pitched since March 1. While everyone keeps saying he’ll be ready for Opening Day, it’s getting more difficult to see that happening, especially since he doesn’t have a firm date to get back on the mound. That being the case, I have to think it’s more likely than not that Ned Colletti takes advantage of the disabled list to both protect Greinke from overextending himself and to buy some time for the starting pitching problem.

So spit-balling the 25-man roster to start the year, I get this:

C — A.Ellis
IF — Gonzalez, M.Ellis, Ramirez, Cruz
OF — Schumaker/Hairston, Kemp, Ethier
Bench — Federowicz, Schumaker/Hairston, Punto, Uribe, Castellanos

Rotation — Kershaw, Billingsley, Beckett, Ryu, Lilly
Bullpen — League, Jansen, Howell, Belisario, Capuano, Guerrier, NRI/Guerra

Disabled list — Crawford, Elbert, Greinke
Somewhere that isn’t here — Harang

We do tend to make too much of the roster on April 1, just because it’s obviously not like it’s set in stone for the remainder of the year. Greinke could take two weeks and hardly miss much time at all, which gives Colletti time to see if Chad Billingsley‘s arm blows up or if other trade possibilities are out there. The problem there is how brutal that bench is, but that seems to be a yearly concern.

** Everyone loves Allen Webster, because it seems like a day doesn’t go by without more Red Sox people talking about how excited they are about Webster. Today, it’s the Boston Globe — featuring manager John Farrell saying “he’s pretty damn good” — and Over the Monster, where pal Marc Normandin investigates a change in Webster’s mechanics and how it might improve his control.

I know some of you think Webster is only getting so much hype now because he’s with the Red Sox and part of the Boston hype machine, and there’s probably some amount of truth in that. I think there’s also a bit of “shiny new toy” at play, just because so many new eyes are on him, but it’s also that he’s just a really good prospect who is close to being ready. Like you, I’m disappointed that the Dodgers had to give up Webster & Rubby De La Rosa while taking on all of that money, but if Adrian Gonzalez & Josh Beckett — who is looking great so far — lead the Dodgers to the promised land, none of the rest of it will matter. Even if we regret the deal and watch the duo star in Boston for years, it’ll at least reflect well on the Dodger scouting staff.

** If you had a press pass to Dodger camp, what would you ask? Mike Bates pondered this thought at FanGraphs. Among them:

3) (To Juan Uribe) Why are you?

Yep. You’ll notice I didn’t even caveat his inclusion in the prospective roster. Sigh.