Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training Notes: February 22nd, 2012

Clayton Kershaw is injured! Everybody panic!

Dodgers Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw missed his first bullpen session of Spring Training on Wednesday as a precautionary measure due to mild back tightness.

Oh, it’s just back tightness.

Speaking of injuries, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that Rubby De La Rosa is progressing quickly.

Rubby De La Rosa is a pitcher, not a doctor, but he’s declared his Tommy John elbow reconstruction a success and predicts a return this season “after the All-Star break.”

“It’s unbelievable, perfect,” said De La Rosa, whose meteoric rise to the Major Leagues last year was derailed by one bad pitch that tore his ulnar collateral ligament. “I’m going to be a lot better. No doubt I’ll be 100 percent.”

De La Rosa, six months into recovery, said he hasn’t had any setbacks and is throwing 90 feet on flat ground with a target of April to be throwing off a mound. He said he feels healthy enough to air it out, but the training staff has him reined in to throw easy.

“I have to wait,” he said. “I want to be healthy. Sometimes I want to throw hard.”

Can’t wait to see how he performs upon returning. I’m guessing it’ll be out of the pen initially.

As Ronald Belisario‘s world turns, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times has an update that involves cocaine.

Back with the Dodgers after a yearlong absence, reliever Ronald Belisario said Wednesday that he was prevented from entering the United States last year because he tested positive for cocaine.

The positive drug test also resulted in a 25-game suspension issued by Major League Baseball that Belisario will serve at the start of the upcoming season.

Standing in front of his locker before the pitchers and catchers’ first workout of the spring, Belisario said he didn’t have a cocaine problem and that he had ingested the drug only once.

“I don’t have a problem with any drugs,” he said.

The failed drug test was the latest incident in a series of personal setbacks that have derailed the 29-year-old right-hander’s once-promising career. In 2010, his last season with the Dodgers, Belisario left the team for more than a month to receive treatment in a substance-abuse program.

Belisario didn’t offer specifics about the treatment he received other than saying it wasn’t for cocaine abuse.

“That’s in the past,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Only did cocaine once and was in the substance abuse program for a different issue that he doesn’t want to talk about. Wonderful, sounds legit. Maybe he should have checked himself into a top private drug rehab in Los Angeles, CA instead.

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Could Andre Ethier platoon with Jerry Sands against lefties? Don Mattingly leads us to believe in the possibility.

“Jerry was really good against lefties last year, but we’ve got to be able to get him x number of at-bats. I hate the thought of saying that we’ll platoon guys, but the numbers say (James) Loney and (Andre) Ethier weren’t good against lefties. We’ll mix and match.”

So who tells Ethier about this and how big of a fit does he throw?

Naturally though, it’s the correct move.

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Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus reported on Twitter that the Dodgers signed Brent Leach, who was once a prospect in the Dodgers system before he left to Japan.

Lefties galore.

About Chad Moriyama

Sup.