Notes: Joc's roller-coaster week; SP updates

OF arrives in Arizona after trade rumors, unsuccessful arb hearing

February 15th, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Joc Pederson returned to the team that he never left Saturday and discussed his Twilight Zone week, when he thought he was traded but wasn’t, then lost an arbitration case that he felt should have been delayed.

Pederson acknowledged that it’s a little awkward, after a tentative trade that would have sent him and Ross Stripling to the Angels was nixed. He wishes details of the trade hadn’t leaked out. And he said that he’s still annoyed that his three requests to have his arbitration case delayed were rejected.

Pederson, however, said he holds no animosity toward the Dodgers.

“It’s a little awkward coming back, but I’m excited to be here and win a World Series,” Pederson said. “I don’t think the Dodgers did anything wrong. The leak of information didn’t come from them, from what I understood, it came from a different organization. What can you do? It stinks, it’s unfortunate, it was an emotional roller coaster, but it is what it is.”

Pederson said “there’s really not hard feelings” about losing the arbitration case (he’ll receive $7.75 million in 2020 instead of the $9.5 million that he was seeking), but there’s frustration because at the time of the hearing, he didn’t know which team he would be playing for, having already received a goodbye text from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

“Because of the limbo situation, I played in the big leagues for five years, and it’s a big day,” said Pederson. “They denied our requests to have it delayed, saying it wasn’t a unique situation.”

Pederson also said that one of the arbitrators asked questions indicating a lack of understanding of the situation, which he compared to an umpire not knowing the rules of the game.

“But that part is between the Dodgers and me -- that’s what the case is for -- and they won, and there’s no hard feelings towards that,” he said.

Pederson said the crux of the Dodgers’ arbitration case was based on games that he did not complete.

• The Dodgers might have had their third, fourth and fifth starters to open the season all on the mound Saturday when David Price, Julio Urías and Alex Wood were among those throwing bullpen sessions at Camelback Ranch.

The acquisition of Price -- assuming his chronic wrist discomfort has been resolved with September surgery -- will help offset the losses of starters Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill.

But much is hoped for from Urías and Wood, the former of whom is trying to get his career back on track after last year’s suspension, while the latter is on the rebound from a season of back issues.

The fourth starter job appears to be Urías’ to lose. He’s gone back to pitching out of a semi-windup, which he abandoned last year when he went to the bullpen.

“I think it helps me get consistent rhythm in my delivery,” Urías said. “I don’t face the plate; I stand with my foot along the rubber, but I’m open a little and I think it helps me.”

Wood said he underwent an ablation to relieve nerve discomfort believed triggered by a long-manageable ruptured disk. Pain-free after completing rehab, Wood reported to Driveline Baseball in Washington after listening to then-Reds teammate Trevor Bauer’s praises last season.

“I’ve cleaned up a lot of things. I wish I would have done it a long time ago,” said Wood. “I was fortunate in Cincinnati, we traded for Trevor. He’s one of the smartest guys I’ve ever been around. I literally love every single second I got to spend around him. After speaking with him at length, he convinced me to go. Once I learned the intricacies and what they do, I felt it was made for me with the unique way that I throw.”

Wood said his program, based on constraint, forces his body to move more efficiently, “which checks the health box. While doing that, your stuff gets better. Into the season, the idea is to make your floor higher so you lessen your flaws. I’m excited to see how it plays out.”

• The Dodgers traded outfielder Kyle Garlick to the Phillies for Minor League left-handed pitcher Tyler Gilbert. Garlick had been designated for assignment when the Dodgers traded for Price and Mookie Betts.

Gilbert, 26, was a sixth-round pick in 2015 out of USC who spent last year at Triple-A with a 2.83 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 36 games.