Dodgers’ spring numbers cause trip to the doctor

Lefty Scott Rice has come out of nowhere to make a good spring impression for the Dodgers (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers 2012)

As much as I hate to admit it, I think I might need to visit the doctor. I don’t know too many grown men who relish a trip to the doctor, but what’s even worse is the need for my visit is the result of my favorite baseball team!

Yes, it’s true; I think that the Los Angeles Dodgers have caused me to suffer from “Premature Espringulation.”

I’m sure there’s gotta be some kind of little colored pill I can take to treat my Premature Espringulation. What is this condition? It is a rare disorder that causes me to analyze the spring training stats of Dodger players to see who’s hot and who’s not … even though exhibition baseball has only been going on for three weeks!

I’m not proud of my condition, but I’m embracing it anyway. And, since I already went to the trouble of looking at lines upon lines of tiny numbers, why not share them with other Dodger fans? The NCAA’s March Madness doesn’t kick off for a few days, so what’s the harm in looking at some early spring training stats from the Dodgers?

So, until I get to the doctor and start swallowing my Premature Espringulation pills, here is a look at “who’s hot and who’s not” for the Dodgers thus far this spring:

Who’s hot – hitting

  1.  Andre Ethier – Ethier and his sore knee seem to be fine in 2012. He leads the team with a .625 batting average and a .667 on-base percentage. Ethier is also second in RBIs with four.
  2.  Josh Fields – This guy is making it all but impossible for manager Don Mattingly not to find a place for him on the big-league roster. Fields has seized his opportunity this spring by posting a .583 batting average in 12 trips to the plate.
  3. Cory Sullivan – The 32-year-old Sullivan is also making a case for a reserve role in Los Angeles this season. Sullivan leads the team with six RBIs and is third in batting average with six hits in 12 plate appearances (that’s .500 for those math-challenged folks!).

Who’s hot – pitching

  1. Clayton Kershaw – Our stud staff ace has only had one start this spring, but he made the most of it. Kershaw is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in his lone appearance.
  2. Scott Rice – Who? This 31-year-old lefty is with his fifth team since 2006, but he leads the Dodgers this spring with four strikeouts in two innings pitched (and a 0.00 ERA).
  3. Chris Capuano – I wanted to put this guy on the list just because of his cool blue socks that are pulled up to his knees! It also helped his case when he won his first start (three innings), didn’t allow a run and struck out three hitters.

Who’s not hot – hitting

  1. Russ Mitchell – Mitchell was kicked off the active roster, and then given another chance. Way to make the most of it, Russ! In 10 plate appearances this spring, Mitchell has the team’s worst average at .100. He has also struck out twice.
  2. Juan Rivera – One of our hopes for left field, Rivera is not helping his cause with a .154 batting average in 13 at-bats. Among those 13 trips to the plate are three strikeouts.
  3. Jerry Sands – Dodger fans should feel great about left field this year! In addition to Rivera’s healthy spring numbers, our other left field candidate is hitting .167, with three strikeouts in 12 plate appearances.

Who’s not hot – pitching

  1. Ronald Belisario – If you kids needed another example to just say “no” to drugs, look no further than Belisario. After missing the 2011 season because of problems with cocaine, Belisario is sharp and focused this spring with a 13.50 ERA (he allowed four runs in two innings).
  2. Aaron Harang – One of the new free-agent additions to the Dodgers, Harang is sporting a 9.00 ERA after allowing two runs in his two innings of work.
  3. Josh Lindblom – Lindblom has struggled in his 2.2 innings of work this spring, allowing two runs and posting a 6.75 ERA.

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