Dodgers' Maeda shows new approach in debut
Righty starter more aggressive as he seeks to emulate '17 postseason success
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers want Kenta Maeda to take the aggressiveness he displayed as a reliever last postseason into his starts this season. He did just that in his Cactus League debut Tuesday, pitching two scoreless innings in the Dodgers' 4-4 tie with the Rangers.
Maeda the starter remembers Maeda the reliever.
"He was pretty good," Maeda said of the version that allowed one run in 10 2/3 innings, with 10 strikeouts and two walks, out of the bullpen in the postseason.
"I just always try to remember that Kenta and try to imitate that. Throwing max effort for just one inning is something I haven't done before, and I would like to carry that over as a starter. But in general, just being extremely aggressive in the zone is something I will take away."
Maeda the starter concedes that he paces himself to last deep into games. Management would prefer he goes as hard as he can as long as he can -- as a reliever would -- then let the bullpen finish it out.
"It is difficult, because as a starter you consider the pitch count," he said. "But there are situations I can go max effort."
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Maeda was the first Dodgers starter to go two innings this spring. The others have pitched one inning in the game and a second inning in the bullpen.
"When they asked me after my first inning if I wanted to go back out again, I figured if I was going to throw the same amount of pitches in the bullpen, I might as well throw it in the game," Maeda said.
Forsythe gets tuneup:John Forsythe had expected to return to the lineup Wednesday after missing the past three days to allow for a knee injection to take effect, but a viral outbreak in the Dodgers' clubhouse resulted in the second baseman not making the trip to play the Padres at Peoria, along with at least at least eight other players.
Forsythe routinely receives a Synvisc injection in his knee each spring, similar to one Justin Turner receives. The substance supplements the fluid in arthritic joints for added cushion and lubrication, providing up to six months of pain relief.
Forsythe, who modified his swing during the offseason, homered in the Cactus League opener on Friday.
Turner, who had microfracture surgery on his right knee after the 2015 season, is a big advocate of the injections, not unlike scheduled maintenance for a car.
"My cartilage is worn down, and when it starts to go and you get bone-on-bone rubbing, you get irritation, and this gel helps," Turner said earlier. "It just lubes up the joints and helps everything move around. It definitely feels better. The biggest tell is in the morning, and it's easy to get up and walk around and not have the first few tough steps. More guys probably get them than let on. I'm an advocate of it; it helps me feel good, and I'll keep doing it."
In other injury updates, shortstop Corey Seager and catcher Austin Barnes still have not played the field because of elbow issues. Seager was 1-for-3 in Tuesday's game as a designated hitter.
Lincecum chooses Rangers
The Dodgers reportedly were a finalist to sign free-agent pitcher Timothy Lincecum, who reportedly will join the Rangers, most likely as a reliever. Dodgers management envisioned Lincecum as a reclamation project to be turned into a setup reliever, the path Brandon Morrow took last year and parlayed into a $21 million deal with the Cubs.
Camp battles: In the ongoing competition for left field, Matt Kemp started in left Tuesday and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Joc Pederson started in center and was 0-for-2 with a walk, caught-stealing and strikeout, and he threw out former Dodger Willie Calhoun at the plate; and Alex Verdugo started in right and was 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Off the bench, Alvin Toles was 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly and a strikeout.
Up next:Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his first start of the spring Wednesday against Dinelson Lamet and the Padres in Peoria on MLB.TV. Game time is 12:10 p.m. PT. Rich Hill is expected to throw on a back field or in a "B" game against the White Sox.