Don’t say Belliard can’t hit his weight
The wait is over: Ronnie Belliard has made weight.
Belliard has been weighed by the Dodgers’ medical staff at 208 pounds, thereby finalizing his one-year, $825,000 contract. The 34-year-old infielder had a clause in his contract that stipulated that his deal would be guaranteed only if he weighed in at 209 or fewer pounds at some point during spring training.
Belliard can earn an additional $250,000 in incentives based on plate appearances.
Belliard, who is listed at 5 feet 9 in the Dodgers’ media guide, reported to camp weighing 211 pounds.
“I was never worried about that,” Belliard said Thursday. “I worked to drop those two pounds and I’m going to continue to work to try to get to 202, 200 pounds.”
Belliard is one of three players competing to become the starting second baseman -- Blake DeWitt and Jamey Carroll are the others -- but has played the two corner infield positions to prepare him for a possible utility role.
“First base is never comfortable,” he said. “You have to know how to play it. I’m still working with Don Mattingly. I think we’ve progressed a lot.”
Belliard said the time he has spent playing first and third should not compromise his ability to play second.
“That’s my natural position,” he said. “That’s where I practice every day during batting practice. When they need me to play second, I can play second.”
Martin on track
Russell Martin sounded increasingly optimistic about his chances of starting on opening day after catching four innings of a minor league game in nearby Surprise, Ariz.
“I feel good right now, so I don’t know why I wouldn’t feel good on opening day,” said Martin, who was two for two with a double as he tested his strained groin.
Manager Joe Torre, who made the 30-minute drive to Surprise to watch Martin and missed the first six innings of the Dodgers’ major league game as a result, was equally upbeat about Martin’s chances of playing in Pittsburgh on April 5.
“To me, if he plays between now and the rest of spring training, that should be enough at-bats.”
Martin is scheduled to catch six innings in another minor league game Friday.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
Dodgers 7 Milwaukee 3
AT THE PLATE: Casey Blake was three for four with a run and a run batted in. The Dodgers were six for 14 with runners in scoring position.
ON THE MOUND: Josh Towers gave up three runs in five innings. Fellow fifth-starter candidate Ramon Ortiz struck out two in a scoreless inning. Jonathan Broxton and George Sherrill each tossed a scoreless inning.
EXTRA BASES: Garret Anderson, batting .375 this spring, was one for three with an RBI.
UP NEXT: Vicente Padilla is set to start Friday’s 1 p.m. game against the Kansas City Royals at Camelback Ranch.
ON THE AIR: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 790 AM.