GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alvin Toles hasn't started any of the Dodgers' last five games. What's up with that?"I'm thinking the same thing," said Toles, who said it's not related to his right knee, which has healed from last year's major surgery.Manager Dave Roberts said Toles will start Saturday, probably because
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alvin Toles hasn't started any of the Dodgers' last five games. What's up with that?
"I'm thinking the same thing," said Toles, who said it's not related to his right knee, which has healed from last year's major surgery.
Manager Dave Roberts said Toles will start Saturday, probably because many of the veterans will be allowed to leave camp after Friday's game for the drive to Southern California.
Roberts said the Dodgers are looking at a lot of outfielders. He's also cautioned reporters about evaluating players off just spring numbers.
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Maybe the Dodgers are telling us that with enough outfielders to pair with Matt Kemp in left field -- Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez and Trayce Thompson (who is out of options) -- Toles might be headed to Triple-A Oklahoma City and not Los Angeles.
Toles was hitting .409 through Mar. 9, but he is 4-for-22 since.
Backed by solo home runs from Yasiel Puig, Hernandez, Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger, Dodgers No. 5 starter Hyun-Jin Ryu had his best start of the spring Thursday night, allowing one run and striking out six over five innings as the Dodgers beat the Angels, 4-3, at Camelback Ranch.
Ryu said he feels better this spring than before his shoulder and elbow operations that sidelined him for most of the 2015 and '16 seasons.
"I feel I'm getting stronger each day," Ryu said through an interpreter. "It's been a while since I felt this way in Spring Training. I feel healthy, I feel I have my arm strength. It's a good feeling."
Ryu said his biggest takeaway from spring is incorporating a tighter curveball later in the count, which he said should be an added weapon in his arsenal.
Rich Hill, who lasted only one-third of an inning in his last Cactus League start, said he pitched six effective innings in a Minor League game against the White Sox.
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"There wasn't much besides the wind that was bothering me," Hill said. "The ball came out of my hand, I threw some back-door sliders to righties, which I haven't been using at all this spring."
Hill also used the opportunity to test out a new pitch.
"I started messing with a split-finger, but that's something that will progress during the season," Hill said. "It was just really good one day, and I thought I might use it in the season. Now is a perfect time to do it. The other three pitches, it was a good day."
Hill said he will pitch Sunday night against the Angels in his final tuneup for the regular season.
Closer Kenley Jansen also pitched in a Minor League game, recording four outs. He will pitch back-to-back outings on Sunday and Monday against the Angels in his final Spring Training appearances.
Taylor Hooton Foundation president Donald Hooton, Jr. and Dodgers strength and conditioning coach Brandon McDaniel presented Clayton Kershaw and John Forsythe with canvas prints of their 2018 It's-All-Me public service ads.
Kershaw and Forsythe are among 35 active Major League players who serve on the Hooton Foundation's "advisory board." The Taylor Hooton Foundation is widely acknowledged as the leader in the advocacy against appearance- and performance-enhancing drug use by the youth of America.
Roberts said the Dodgers won't provide a timetable for an expected return for third baseman Justin Turner, whose fractured left wrist is in a brace. Players with similar fractures are generally out 1-2 months.
"As an organization, we try to be as open and not lock ourselves in, or the player, because expectations get in the way," Roberts said. "We are more vague, but everyone heals differently. You can ask, but don't expect an answer. If I had a precise time, I would give it to you."
In his final tuneup before Opening Day, Kershaw will face a Royals split squad on Friday at Surprise Stadium. Former Dodgers left-hander Ricky Nolasco is scheduled to start for Kansas City.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.