The meetings come complete with both a slogan and a beverage of choice. A piece of paper inside the Dodgers clubhouse lists a schedule for “Coffee with Doc,” a slate of daily conversations designed for Manager Dave Roberts to introduce himself to his roster.
“I go through a lot of coffee on a daily basis,” Roberts said. “But it’s more that we want to meet with every player. As a player, you want to know where you stand. I believe in communication. And that’s the start of it.”
So Saturday, the day of the first official workout for pitchers and catchers, Roberts met with players such as Jharel Cotton, Ian Thomas and Matt West. His schedule Sunday includes Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Wood and J.P. Howell. On Monday, he’ll sit down with Kenta Maeda.
Roberts took over a Dodgers roster that experienced little turnover after the 2015 season. The lineup will be almost identical. The rotation of starters and relievers will feature only a few new faces. So Roberts must build relationships within this structure.
The team will conduct its first full-squad workout Thursday. A sizable portion of the roster is already here. Yasiel Puig arrived Saturday. He joined a contingent of position players that includes Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, Justin Turner, Chase Utley and Scott Van Slyke.
Roberts intends to offer a more formal address to the entire group next week. But he did speak to the pitchers and catchers before they took the field Saturday.
“It was sincere, as far as our goal to get better every day, and what it takes,” Roberts said. “And, obviously, everybody’s got the same goal: To win a championship. But there’s a lot of work from now until then that we’ve got to account for. And that was pretty much the message.”
Kershaw takes the mound
Clayton Kershaw completed his first bullpen session of the spring Saturday. He threw 34 pitches to catcher A.J. Ellis.
“I think the first one is just to see what it looks like,” Kershaw said. “And then from there, I think throwing strikes is the next most important thing.”
Kershaw had already thrown several sessions at home in Texas.
Ravin down, Brown out
The Dodgers gave the day off to reliever Josh Ravin as he is suffering from the flu. Ravin, a 28-year-old right-hander, appeared in nine games for the Dodgers in 2015 with a 6.75 earned-run average. He struck out 38 batters in 28 innings for triple-A Oklahoma City.
Brooks Brown, a 30-year-old right-hander, will be eased into his throwing program because of his sore right shoulder, Roberts said. Brown was sidelined a significant amount of time for Colorado last season because of shoulder inflammation.
“They’re going to give him a couple extra days, a few extra days, to make it calm down and feel a little bit better,” Roberts said. “But we don’t have a timetable. We don’t.”
Brown posted a 4.91 ERA for the Rockies in 2015. The Dodgers claimed him off waivers in October.
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