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Honeycutt discusses Australia trip and injuries

SAN DIEGO -- After a compressed and disjointed Spring Training, two of the pitchers Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt took to Australia for the Opening Series are on the disabled list.

Honeycutt said he couldn't say the Australian trip caused the injuries. And he couldn't say it didn't.

But after reliever Brian Wilson joined Opening Day starter Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list Wednesday, Honeycutt said he would have liked more preparation time and games for his pitchers.

"Spring Training is about getting the body physically ready for 162 games," said Honeycutt, who usually has his starters make a minimum of five spring starts, but Kershaw made only four, matching Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dan Haren for the team high.

Of course, plenty of teams that didn't go to Australia have been dealing with injuries. And Dodgers officials point out that the actual length of this year's Spring Training was comparable with most recent seasons, the main exception being the lengthy delay (18 days) between the day the Dodgers reported and the date games started (9-13 days in the previous six springs).

Still, Honeycutt said he hopes MLB seeks his input on scheduling before planning another international opener that would require another stilted training camp.

Among the suggestions Honeycutt would make would be to reduce the number of off-days, both after arriving abroad, and also after returning to the United States.

The Dodgers and D-backs left Arizona on a Sunday night, arriving Tuesday morning. They worked out Tuesday and Wednesday, played an exhibition game Thursday night against Team Australia, were off again Friday, then played games that counted Saturday night and Sunday.

The Dodgers returned after the Sunday game, landing in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon. They were off Monday, worked out Tuesday and Wednesday, then played exhibition games against the Angels Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Honeycutt also noted that the Dodgers had their schedule further disrupted when the domestic opener was moved up from Monday afternoon to Sunday night to accommodate ESPN.

Honeycutt said Kershaw told him he felt his discomfort during the Opening Night game, but not on a particular pitch.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
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