Opening up the Dodgers mailbag
Readers ask Tony Jackson about the quality of Los Angeles' young prospects
Q: It seems like Trayvon Robinson, Josh Lindblom, Chris Withrow and Brian Cavazos-Galvez are impressing this spring. What can you tell us about these guys? -- Erik, Los Angeles
Tony Jackson: Withrow had an outstanding inning on Sunday and impressed everybody, but he won't be seen in Los Angeles for at least a couple of more years. It's pretty fun to imagine a rotation with him and Kershaw in it together, though, isn't it? As for Cavazos-Galvez, he has had only one at-bat, but he used it to hit a towering home run to left field. Robinson homered in Taiwan, but has had only two Cactus League at-bats. Lindblom hasn't appeared in a Cactus League game at all, but he has been outstanding in B games and in Taiwan. He's not really a candidate for the Opening Day roster, but I think you will see him with the Dodgers sometime this year. Trayvon Robinson has only 57 at-bats above Double-A, so you probably won't see him this year. Cavazos-Galvez was a member of last year's draft class, so he is several years away.
Q: Hey Tony, is Manny a nice guy or is he just nice in front of the cameras? -- Enrique, Temecula, Calif.
TJ: Manny has been a bit standoffish this spring, to say the least. He was his old self the first couple of days, then he turned surly and has pretty much been that way ever since. However, I'm told that our own Ramona Shelburne got him to talk a little bit during the Taiwan trip. My guess is you'll see the many faces of Manny all season, where he'll be in good moods for a few weeks, bad moods for a few weeks, etc. I just hope he doesn't turn into what he turned into during his final days in Boston.
Q: Do you think Xavier Paul will be on the Dodgers opening day roster? Is he a viable candidate to replace Manny next year? -- David, Shamokin Dam, Pa.
TJ: David, no chance he makes the team this year unless someone gets hurt. The outfield is too crowded. But he has put up good numbers in the minors, especially in recent years. He could be a candidate to take over in left field next year. But I think he is projected more as a fourth or fifth outfielder in the majors, so I would say probably not.
TJ: Ellis is a lock for now because he passed May in the pecking order a couple of years ago, which is why May has stayed a level behind A.J., which in turn is why A.J. is the guy with Martin out. However, May finally seemed to find himself offensively at Chattanooga last season, where he hit .306 with a .390 on-base percentage, and he is still considered to have a higher long-term upside than Ellis.