Dodgers open up 2024 Spring season on high note

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Dodgers look ready for dominance in first Spring Training action

PHOENIX – Dodger baseball is finally back and while it is not the real deal as of yet, there were some exciting moments over the opening weekend. There is a certain aura that comes with the start of Spring Training, regardless of the way your favorite team’s offseason went. In the Dodgers’ case, it was their best of all time, so the excitement of the season is at an all time high. 

Teoscar Hernandez dazzled in his debut, Mookie Betts looked great defensively, Freddie Freeman continued his greatness from last year, and multiple prospects showed they could crack the roster at some point in the regular season.

Here are my three takeaways:

In an offseason that consisted of the huge signings of Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Teoscar Hernandez was one of the more under the radar signings for the Dodgers. The first swing of Hernandez’s Dodger tenure was a two-run double off the wall to score the first runs of the spring for the team. 

He is a legitimate power threat, with a cannon of an arm in the outfield, who can bring energy, flair, and dynamic playmaking to a Dodger team that lacked that in the postseason. 

Tyler Glasnow was another player that many are overlooking when it comes to judging this team’s ability to make noise this season. Glasnow is coming off of a year where he was trying to get back to 100% health. Glasnow has always had the type of repertoire to be the “ace” of a rotation, and now he is at full health, looking to live up to that moniker once again in his first year as a Dodger.

 In his first appearance, he did look a bit shaky command wise, but settled to prevent any runs in 1.2 innings pitched.

There have only been four games played this Spring, and Max Muncy and Freddie Freeman have already homered. Freeman, in fact, did it on the first pitch he saw, and Muncy launched it well into the right field seats on Sunday against the Oakland Athletics. Mookie Betts also looked very comfortable at second base, where he will be playing every day now for the first time in his career. 

We also saw the return of Gavin Lux, who was a major loss to the Dodger lineup last year after tearing his ACL in the Spring of 2023. Lux was a .290 hitter in his last full season with the club, and this Spring, he looks all the part of what he did before the injury already. Lux had a few line drives, utilizing the middle of the field in doing so, and shared some great at bats with fellow returner James Outman. 

Outman, who had a great rookie campaign in 2023, hit a home run of his own over the weekend, while also shortening up his swing and going to all parts of the field at the plate.

While fans did not get the chance to see either of the two new stars over the weekend, manager Dave Roberts said that Ohtani would DH on Tuesday and Yamamoto would start Wednesday. 

There has been plenty of buzz and hype around the two Japanese stars, with Ohtani already stealing the crowds in Arizona and on social media as well. 

Yamamoto will certainly be on a pitch limit, but from the media sensation around his bullpen sessions and workouts, we are in for a treat, if only for an inning or two. 

The Dodgers will play a variety of teams this week, leading with a matchup against the Colorado Rockies on Monday. First pitch is set for 12:10 PM PST at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona.