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Notes: Roberts meets with Commissioner

@kengurnick
February 19, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts met with Commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday, and one of the primary topics was players’ and coaches’ in-game access to video.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts met with Commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday, and one of the primary topics was players’ and coaches’ in-game access to video.

“I'm not exactly clear what's going to happen, but as far as video use in-game or lack thereof, using it as a tool, after the fact to kind of educate yourself on the game or development, but as far as having access to video is going to be, in my opinion, probably going to be eliminated,” said Roberts.

“As an industry, we’ve been taking a hard-line stand on this. There’s going to be players that oppose this, that do it the right way, using it solely in-game to gather information for the game the right way and it’s going to affect how they prepare at-bat to at-bat. We’ll have to adjust. But overall, it’s in the best interests.”

Alvarez back to work
Right-hander Yadier Álvarez, who once shot to the top of the Dodgers’ prospect list, is now trying to climb his way out of the doghouse and back into baseball. Signed out of Cuba for $16 million in 2015, Álvarez reported to Spring Training still on the restricted list after leaving Double-A Tulsa and going home during last season.

But he showed up for Spring Training last week (to the surprise of many), looking to restart his career. He said all the right things in his first interview on Wednesday after his first bullpen session.

“I worked really hard in the offseason, but I have to work on my direction -- and by that I mean getting here on time, focus and work on discipline,” said Álvarez, now 23. “I was acting like a child, and I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to things.”

Álvarez said he has talked to a psychologist and to former big leaguers to get back on track. He said he knows his time is running out.

“I let things slip away, and I’m a lot more focused this year than in previous years,” he said. “I’m very much aware this could be my last opportunity.”

Noteworthy
• Wednesday was the fifth day Dustin May (left side muscle) and Jimmy Nelson (lower back) were limited. Roberts said both have improved but are still days away from getting back on the mound.

• Roberts said he will name the starting pitcher for Saturday's Spring Training opener on Thursday. Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen session on Wednesday, which sets him up to make that start. Walker Buehler throws off the mound the day after Kershaw, for those trying to handicap who might start Opening Day.

The presumptive favorite for the ceremonial honor is Kershaw, who had his streak of eight consecutive Opening Day starts snapped last year because of a sore shoulder. Roberts called Kershaw a “regular participant” of workouts so far, compared to last year’s injury-plagued camp.

• Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, will hold their eighth annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose tournament on Thursday, May 7, at Dodger Stadium, benefitting their charity, Kershaw’s Challenge. Kershaw's Challenge was founded in 2011 and has raised more than $12 million to support at-risk children and families around the globe. The Kershaws’ signature event will raise funds to support this year’s beneficiaries in Los Angeles and internationally.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.