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Dodgers Dugout: Where did this Yasiel Puig person come from?

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager and Joc Pederson are on pace to drive in 203 runs this season. And Puig is on pace to hit 122 home runs!

What we learned

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Things we learned from the four-game series against the triple-A San Diego team that concluded the exhibition schedule. What? The Padres are in the majors and that started the season?

--This Clayton Kershaw guy has some potential.

--The Dodgers' offense is going to be one of the best in baseball again this season. Of course, if you only go to one home game this season, that game will probably end 1-0.

--Joe Davis is on the right track as the guy to replace Vin Scully. He hasn't learned how to tell a story effectively yet. He spent a few minutes Wednesday talking about the long, winding career of Rich Hill, and how it ended with tears in the news conference where he finally got his big payoff, a three-year, $48-million deal with the Dodgers. However, he used the same voice for every part of the story, rendering the whole thing monotone. Scully knew the peaks and valleys of a story and let his voice reflect that. Davis hasn't mastered that yet. Of course, Scully didn't have Orel Hershiser interrupting him every other second talking about how the game was played in his day.

--By the way, Orel, Dodgers fans will always love you, but you don't have to keep reminding us how good you were.

--It looks like the Dodgers are going to have troubles with left-handers again. They hit .179 against Padres lefties, none of whom are Sandy Koufax. And the Dodgers will face four left-handed starters on this six-game trip.

--Manager Dave Roberts, on teams arranging their rotations to pitch left-handers against the Dodgers: "It's not a surprise, I get it. It's up to us to change the narrative, and we're gonna have our opportunities."

--What's behind Puig's power surge? The Dodgers are actively coaching him to hit the ball in the air.

--Dodgers pinch-hitters are one for eight, with four strikeouts.

--You can always tell when Adrian Gonzalez is in a groove offensively, because he lines the ball to left a lot. Now if he could just stay in a groove the entire season.

--When you go to a Dodgers game, keep an eye on Gonzalez on defense. He does a lot of little things you don't get to notice if you watch them on TV.

--The Dodgers are hitting .286 with two out and runners in scoring position.

--How prolific has the Dodgers offense been so far? Austin Barnes has played in two games, has no hits in three at-bats, but has scored two runs.

--Of course, they've only played four games, so all of the above stats are pretty meaningless. But it's better to be 3-1 than 1-3.

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Next series

Many of you have emailed to ask that I include the start times of the next series and the pitching matchups. So, here you go:

Friday, 1:10 p.m. PDT, Dodgers (Hyun-Jin Ryu) at Colorado (Kyle Freeland)

Saturday, 5:10 p.m. PDT, Dodgers (Kershaw) at Colorado (Jon Gray)

Sunday, noon PDT, Dodgers (Kenta Maeda) at Colorado (Tyler Anderson). Note: This game will be on KTLA Channel 5

KTLA games

After Sunday's telecast, there will be eight more games on KTLA this season:

April 12, 5 p.m., at Chicago Cubs

April 16, 1 p.m., vs. Arizona

April 18, 6:30 p.m., vs. Colorado

April 19, 7 p.m., vs. Colorado

April 23, 1 p.m., at Arizona

April 30, 1 p.m., Philadelphia

May 3, 6 p.m., vs. San Francisco

May 7, 1 p.m., at San Diego

Ask Ross Porter

Once again, former Dodgers announcer Ross Porter is back again to answer select reader questions. Email me a question for Ross, and I will pass it on. Here's this week's answer:

Hi everybody! Tom Bowman asks: As we begin this season, Ross, do the Dodgers again have the highest payroll in baseball, and which player will be the highest-paid player in the majors?

Ross: Yes, they do, Tom.

Payrolls:

1. Dodgers, $238 million

2. Yankees, $196 million

3. Tigers, $194 million

4. Red Sox, $193 million

Highest-paid players:

1. Clayton Kershaw, $35.5 million

2. Zack Greinke, $ 34 million

It's the fourth year in a row a Dodger has been No. 1. Which team has two of MLB's five highest-paid? Detroit (Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander).

Don't mess with Ross

The two destroyers from which the attack on Syria was carried out Thursday are named the USS Ross and the USS Porter.

And finally

The Dodgers do not have a timetable for Andre Ethier's return. By the way, were Ethier and actor Brett Dalton, separated at birth?

Have a comment or something you'd like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston

Twitter: @latimeshouston

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