Past, Present, Future Lookouts Working-Out In L.A. This Week

Monday, January 6, 2014
Zach Lee is the Dodgers' top pitching prospect.
Zach Lee is the Dodgers' top pitching prospect.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

LOS ANGELES -- With the college football season ending tonight and the NFL playoffs in full gear, this is the time serious baseball fans begin counting the days until the boys of summer pack up and head to Spring Training. In Los Angeles, several prospects get a head start.

3em;">Fifteen of the organization's top prospects, including 2013 Lookouts Joc Pederson and Zach Lee, will be brought to Los Angeles next week for the Dodgers' seventh annual Winter Development Program.

In addition to Pederson and Lee, invitees are outfielder and Dodgers position player of the year Scott Schebler; Rule 5 pitching acquisition Seth Rosin; infield defensive specialist Miguel Rojas; recent 40-man roster additions include former Lookouts' Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, and Jarret Martin; 2013 big league call-ups are ex-Lookouts' Jose Dominguez, Matt Magill and Nick Buss; pitching prospects Chris Reed and Ross Stripling; and catching prospects Pratt Maynard and Chris O'Brien.

Rojas might be the most intriguing of the group, as general manager Ned Colletti dropped his name as an option to play second base this year if Cuban rookie Alexander Guerrero isn't ready and the club decides to go strong defensively. Rojas has a .234 career batting average in eight Minor League seasons, but some who watched him in a few Spring Training games last year compared his defensive skills with 11-time Gold Glove Award winner Omar Vizquel.

The Winter Development Program, started by vice president of player development De Jon Watson, is designed to take the best and brightest of the farm system, accelerate their Major League arrival and aid acclimation to what they will encounter when they get there. Players will participate in workouts and seminars, plus get a taste of Dodgers community outreach with a visit to A Place Called Home, a youth center in South Los Angeles.

Among earlier participants were Clayton Kershaw and ex-Lookout Kenley Jansen. Watson's minicamp also allows club officials to get a line on each player's conditioning prior to Spring Training and to tweak flaws in a pitcher's delivery or a hitter's swing before the start of the real camp, when the player will be focused on making the club.

Those attending receive coaching on baseball skills, but they also are instructed in aspects of Major League Baseball that should be essential but often are overlooked -- from media relations to security issues to interaction with fans.

In addition to sessions with manager Don Mattingly and Colletti, the players will spend time with Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda, former players Maury Wills, Eric Karros and Shawn Green, and club president Stan Kasten.

--- Source: MLB.com

Ross Stripling spent most of the 2013 season with Chattanooga.
Ross Stripling spent most of the 2013 season with Chattanooga.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

Bushnell Poll Has Dalton State Men's Golf At No. 10 In NAIA

The Dalton State men’s golf team is ranked No. 10 in the Bushnell NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll released Friday by Golfweek. Defending national champions Coastal Georgia received six of the seven votes for No.1 but is two points in back of William Woods of Mo.  Dalton State is voted No. 10 in the Bushnell. ... (click for more)

Dalton State Women Picked 5th In NAIA Golf

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  – Defending national champion Keiser (Fla.) is the No. 1 team in the 2015 NAIA Women’s Golf Preseason Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Friday. The Seahawks claimed 14 first-place votes and 405 points overall. This is the second time that Keiser, formerly Northwood, starts the season atop the poll, dating back to 1999. The Seahawks ... (click for more)

City, County To Spend Up To $300,000 To Improve Moccasin Bend Police Firing Range

The city and county will spend up to $300,000 to upgrade the police firing range at Moccasin Bend. The city and county earlier had made plans for an indoor firing range on E. 11th Street that would have cost over $3 million, but the plug was later pulled on that idea. Officials said a new portable building will be transported to the Moccasin Bend site. The project also ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Takes New Cost-Cutting Measures

Hutcheson Medical Center has announced new cost-cutting measures as it tries to stop ongoing losses. A trustee has asked that the Fort Oglethorpe hospital's bankruptcy process be dissolved, saying it has accumulated over $5 million in debt during the 10 months it has been in bankruptcy. The board of directors for Hutcheson Medical Center voted Wednesday evening to suspend ... (click for more)

Vote To Save Graduate Medical Education Funding

As a resident physician at UT College of Medicine Chattanooga, I know first-hand the impact Medicare financing for Graduate Medical Education has on physician education and access to care for patients in our community and communities all over the country.  GME funding provides medical school graduates the opportunity to complete the required years of clinical residency training ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Quaker Oats & Stuff

Some genius in the Quaker Oats marketing department came up with a novel idea last summer with the theme: “What if you had the chance to do something you have always wanted to do … but you had to start today?” Somehow Michael Hope and his family – that includes three children – got to be interviewed and, when his 10-year-old daughter Lauren was asked, she said she always wanted ... (click for more)