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Dodgers: Spring training notes

February 14, 2009 |  3:03 pm

Schmidt_300_2PHOENIX -- The Dodgers' new spring training complex opened its gates today for the start of workouts for pitchers and catchers.

A few early notes from camp:

  • Jason Schmidt (pictured at right), who has missed most of the last two seasons because of shoulder trouble, is very upbeat about his chances of earning a spot in the Dodgers' rotation. His demeanor is significantly different than it was last year, when he seemed unsure of whether he'd be able to make it back. Asked if he thought Schmidt would be the Dodgers' fifth starter, Manager Joe Torre replied, "I'd like to believe that."
  • Chad Billingsley, who fractured his ankle this winter, has already had five bullpen sessions and says he feels completely healed. His goal is to pitch between 210 and 220 innings this season. He maintained that he hurt himself slipping on his porch and not playing basketball, as many baseball people suspected when they heard of his injury. "I don't even play basketball," he said.
  • Russell Martin, who recently twisted his left foot, underwent an MRI exam Friday. The results were negative.
  • Speaking of Martin, Torre said that he and his catcher spoke every other week over the phone this winter.
  • Yhency Brazoban, who pitched in only two major league games last year, is unsure about the condition of his shoulder. He pitched in only two games in winter ball because of shoulder inflammation and spent the remainder of his winter at the Dodgers' training facility in the Dominican Republic. Believing that his shoulder problems could be related to his weight, Brazoban lost 10 pounds this winter and reported to camp Friday at 250 pounds. He said his shoulder isn't bothering him at this time. His goal is to lose 10 more pounds this spring.
  • Travis Schlichting, a 24-year-old right-hander who is on the 40-man roster, is shut down because of pain in his lower back.

-- Dylan Hernandez

Photo credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times