The Bison is back
I won’t be doing a breakdown of every spring game but game one had plenty to talk about, including the return of the Bison to Dodger blue.
Wilmer Font is a huge man and buzzed right through the six hitters he faced. He was the best pitcher on this day for either team though Edward Paredes gave him a run for his money by striking out the side in the 8th. At least Orel got it right when he said that Font was out of options and the team would have to find a way to keep him on the roster. Ned Colletti did not as he said during the pregame that they could use Font up and down this year. The only way that happens is if the Dodgers don’t put Font on the 25 man roster and every team takes a pass on him. I don’t see that happening.
The Bison is back. Matt Kemp hit a hard single up the middle in his first at-bat, slugged a home run in his second at-bat but more importantly the man looks great. We can finally remove those horrible images of Matt in the Padre and Brave uniforms looking very much like an over-the-hill designated hitter instead of the Bison we remember so fondly. During his multiple interviews with Alanna, he appeared to be very comfortable and even with blinders on, it didn’t take much imagination to see the Matt Kemp of old. The smile, the eyes, the hat on backward. It can’t be what it was, but for one day it sure felt like it.
The players competing for the LF job were all over the lineup today. Kemp was the starting LF, Hernandez was starting at SS while Seager rests his arm, Thompson was starting in RF, and Alex Verdugo came off the bench. They combined to hit two home runs (Kemp, Hernandez), one double (Verdugo), three singles (2 by Thompson, 1 by Kemp), and one stolen base by Thompson.
They said Cody Bellinger had added muscle and I believe it. He was on 2nd when Kemp hit his home run and the view from TV of Cody leading off of second showed off his massive shoulders.
DJ Peters looks just like wild man Jayson Werth. More similarities, both right-handed, both tall and lanky, both with power, both have long mountain man like hair. Has to just be a matter of time that Peters grows a beard or breaks his wrist.
Pat Venditte is the guy who pitches with either arm and in getting his five outs today he used both his arms to excellent effect. Pat came into the game with two on and one out. He struck out the first hitter, then got out of a bases-loaded jam after Cody Bellinger made an error on a simple ground ball to 1st base. He retired the side in order the next inning.
Noted above, Edward Paredes struck out the side in the 8th.