Koufax still teaching pitchers and coaches alike
Honeycutt grateful to have legend in camp to help dispense wisdom
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Another pitching coach might have felt a bit slighted with all the commotion around the presence of pitching guru Sandy Koufax at Dodgers Spring Training camp, but not Rick Honeycutt.
"No way," said Honeycutt. "Without a doubt, the more I'm around him the more I learn. In my opinion, he's the best. He just has such a great way about him."
Honeycutt first met Koufax in 1984, Honeycutt's first Spring Training as a Dodger, while Koufax was in an 11-year stint as an organizational instructor. Honeycutt was coming off a deadline trade from Texas the previous summer, having brought with him the lowest ERA in the American League. Still, Honeycutt went to Koufax for a bullpen session.
"The first time we met, I was somewhat in awe, but I saw the ease he had with the other guys," said Honeycutt. "It was so different with him. I had pitched in the Major Leagues for six years, but I never heard people concentrate on what he talked about -- the lower half of the body."
The Dodgers have worked Koufax into their workout schedule for the roughly 10 days he's expected to be in camp. Honeycutt said Koufax prefers one-on-one sessions with pitchers. He's already worked with just about every pitcher on the Major League roster, as well as top pitching prospects Zack Lee, Chris Reed and Angel Sanchez.
"When I came back to the organization in 2001, one of the major goals was to get the Dodgers back to the way they taught pitching for so many years," said Honeycutt. "They had gotten away from it, from the way it was taught by the great pitching coaches like Red Adams, Ron Perranoski, Dave Wallace and Sandy.
"The great thing about having Sandy around is to listen to the stories of success, not just his great talent pitching but his ability to say in simple terms what we're trying to accomplish. I've always felt that I'm extension of him in that way."
Dodgers legend Garvey reveals prostate cancer
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers legend Steve Garvey, while announcing that some of his baseball memorabilia will be auctioned, also revealed Friday that he had prostate cancer.
"This past fall I was thrown a nasty curve and battled prostate cancer," Garvey said in a press release. "I decided on a radical prostectomy operation at UCLA, and through God's grace it went well.
"I will continue to monitor my progress, but will now dedicate a significant amount of time and resources to prostate awareness. Through SCP Auctions, the Garvey family will also continue to share our great love for baseball by donating time and dollars to youth baseball programs."
Among the items Garvey will put through auction:
• 1974 National League Most Valuable Player Award
• 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers World Series Championship ring
• 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers National League Championship ring
• 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers National League Championship ring
• 1974 National League Gold Glove Award
• 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers Miniature World Series trophy
• Historic 1984 NLCS Game 4 walk-off home run bat Inscribed by Garvey (Voted Greatest Moment in San Diego Sports History)
• 1974 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Most Valuable Player trophy
• Nine Major League Baseball All-Star rings
• 1982 Signed last Dodgers game-worn warm-up jacket
"I have been blessed to win a number of awards and be involved in numerous historical baseball moments over my 20-year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres," Garvey said. "I feel it's time to share several pieces of history with those fans who inspired me to those wonderful achievements."
The auction will begin April 15 and will include items from Rollie Fingers and Bret Saberhagen. Bidding will be open to registered bidders on Wednesday, April 10 and conclude on Saturday, April 27. The auction will be conducted online at SCPAuctions.com. For more information on how to participate, visit www.scpauctions.com or call (949) 831-3700.
Kemp, Crawford unlikely to play until early March
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Clayton Kershaw opens the exhibition season for the Dodgers on Saturday against the White Sox, but don't look for Matt Kemp or Carl Crawford in the outfield for awhile.
Manager Don Mattingly said March 1 is a very rough target date for Kemp to get into games coming off left shoulder surgery. Crawford will likely be later than that as he returns from Tommy John elbow reconstruction.
"I don't go definitely March 1 with Matt, because it might not be until March 5 or March 7 when he's ready to play. That doesn't mean anything's wrong."
Mattingly said both are likely to break in as designated hitters at first.
"Both guys I'll DH a little early on," Mattingly said on Friday. "Carl more likely [than Kemp]. He won't get into games until the medical tests [clear their participation]. I don't want him in a game and reacting and doing something like spinning to make a throw that we don't want him doing."
Kemp is doing all baseball activities, while Crawford is still on a conservative throwing program to rebuild arm strength with the hope that he will be ready by Opening Day.
Mattingly said that Skip Schumaker and Jerry Hairston are likely to be outfield starters on Saturday.
Ryu gets legendary lesson from Koufax
GLENDALE, ARIZ. -- Hyun-Jin Ryu, fresh off his first bullpen session with Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax Friday, is ready for another.
Koufax suggested a different release for Ryu's curveball, which the Korean left-hander said he wasn't yet comfortable with.
Ryu said he's hoping Koufax not only can share advice on mechanics, but also on pitching approach.
"That was a side session, and I want to know how he utilized the curveball in a game," Ryu said through interpreter Charlie Lee. "I asked questions and he told me about where to put pressure on my thumb when I release the ball. I want to learn situation by situation, when to use it and where to throw it."
Ryu's primary pitches are a change-up and fastball. He also has a curveball and slider, but has not yet started to throw the slider this spring.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.