GROUNDHOG DAY: Just eight days away from their Cactus League opener against the D-backs at Salt River Fields - Talking Stick, the Dodgers took to the fields at Camelback Ranch for the fifth full-squad workout of 2014.
Another round of live batting practice took place today to close out the day’s workout, as Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp faced off against left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu and right-hander Matt Magill on Field 1. On Field 2, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Juan Uribe, Chone Figgins and Justin Turner took their cuts against left-handed pitcher Jarret Martin, right-handed pitcher Pedro Baez and right-handed pitcher Carlos Frias.
A WARM WELCOME: There has been a steady stream of familiar faces to arrive at Camelback Ranch – Glendale in the last few days, including the likes of Sandy Koufax, Orel Hershiser and Tommy Davis. Another Dodger great to arrive in camp today was Eric Karros, whose name is etched atop the LA Dodgers career home run list with 270, 42 ahead of Ron Cey. In Karros’ 14-year career, he was honored with the 1992 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 1995 Silver Slugger Award for first basemen, the year in which he also finished fifth in the NL MVP voting. Karros will serve as a guest instructor while in camp.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!: Assistant Hitting Coach John Valentin and Coach/Spanish TV Broadcaster Manny Mota both celebrated their birthdays today at Camelback Ranch – Glendale.
Valentin enters his second season as the assistant hitting coach after serving as a minor league coach in the Dodgers’ organization since 2008, following an 11-year Major League career with Boston (1992-2001) and New York-NL (2002). Valentin posted a career .279 batting average and was honored with the Silver Slugger Award with the Red Sox in 1995.
Mota enters his 35th season as a coach with the Dodgers and 2014 will mark his 46th year with Los Angeles after a playing career that spanned parts of 13 seasons from 1969-1980 and 1982. During his 20-year-career, Mota hit .304 with San Francisco (1962), Pittsburgh (1963-68), Montreal (1969) and the Dodgers (1969-80, 82) while becoming baseball’s all-time pinch-hit leader with 150, a mark since broken by Lenny Harris and Mark Sweeney.
--compliments of the Dodgers PR department