Much has been written in the past week about the affect that Sandy Koufax has had on many of the Dodger players at spring training, but what many may not know is that he is having an absolute blast as well.
Koufax has been working with many of the Dodger pitchers in the early morning session and then watching them throwing live batting practice in the late morning session.
Koufax has also been quite accommodating for fans, as he has been signing autographs and interacting with the large crowds on hand.
While many may have initially thought that bringing Koufax back into the Dodgers fold was merely a publicity or P.R. move, there is absolutely no doubt that Koufax takes his position very seriously and would not have accepted the position if it were only that. His hands-on approach is truly infectious and genuinely appreciated by all. And when you add the hitting expertise of new hitting coach Mark McGwire (yet another huge fan-favorite at Camelback Ranch), it is difficult not to feel extremely confident about this Dodger team.
Whether or not the Koufax Affect will translate into success for the 2013 Dodgers remains to be seen, no one can argue that it has been anything but positive well beyond everyone’s expectations.
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Spring Training Notes:
- Catching prospect Matt Wallach arrived in camp this morning to fill the vacancy created by the absence of non-roster invitee Eliezer Alfonso who has not yet reported due to medical issued (Dengue fever).
- During live pitch batting practice, Dodger closer hit two batters, but hey – it’s still early, right?
- Yasiel Puig continues to absolutely crush the ball during batting practice.
- Mattingly plans to bat Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez Luis Cruz at the top of the line-up and will give each 3 at-bats per game to help them prepare for the upcoming WBC. He added that Nick Punto will bat regularly and as needed.
- Mattingly hopes to get two innings out of each of starters in their respective first spring training outings except for Ryu, who will pitch only one inning in his first appearance.
- Mattingly plans to play Alex Castellanos in center field, Jerry Hairston Jr. in left field and Skip Schumaker at all three outfield positions quite a bit during the spring in order to help determine who will be the 4th outfielder this season or in the event of an injury.
- Mattingly plans to give Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp more days off this season, although “…Matt probably won’t want to hear this.”