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Chico is the man in Dodgers' intrasquad games

Chico is the man in Dodgers’ intrasquad games

Chris Taylor made a blunder in the second inning of the Dodgers’ intrasquad recreation Saturday. He ran on Chico.

Taylor tagged up from 1st foundation on a schedule fly ball to remaining discipline, exactly where Chico camped less than it. Chico, No. 97, fired a strike to second foundation that very easily defeat Taylor for a double participate in. Both teams erupted with cheers and laughter inside an empty Dodger Stadium. The lesson was crystal clear: Do not operate on Chico.

Francisco Herrera, the male regarded as Chico, is on the Dodgers’ payroll but not as a player. He’s been a clubhouse attendant — a clubbie in baseball communicate — considering the fact that 2008, initially in a portion-time role and now in a comprehensive-time capability.

He has not played competitive baseball given that his two a long time playing shortstop at Los Angeles Valley College a ten years ago. But the Dodgers have desired a entire body as a outcome of a lack of players and they’ve turned to Herrera. The Hollywood native has been the left fielder for a single of the two teams in the Dodgers’ 6 scrimmages performed in teaching camp, from time to time snatching the spotlight from the main leaguers all-around him.

“It’s been surreal,” Herrera, 30, stated. “The men loving it and just going out there and obtaining fun.”

Intrasquad video games are central to the 3-7 days education camp significant league clubs are holding in planning for the time. With teams confined to their dwelling stadiums, the games have changed Cactus and Grapefruit League exhibitions as the most effective way for players to accrue competitive reps for the 1st two months of education.

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The Dodgers are scheduled to keep 5 additional scrimmages just before enjoying two exhibition games against the Arizona Diamondbacks and 1 versus the Angels in their last tune-ups. Opening working day is slated for July 23.

Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, left, talks to a teammate all through an intrasquad video game Thursday.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Push)

“It’s really equivalent,” Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts stated of the scrimmages. “Guys are even now planning the appropriate way. As extended as you’re playing, competing and you have that mind-established to get improved, then you nevertheless appraise.”

The Dodgers have blended the get the job done in a calm environment. Bench coach Bob Geren, a previous massive league catcher, occasionally usually takes playful banter for his phone calls as the dwelling plate umpire. Users of the coaching employees have sung the national anthem right before first pitch to various achievements. Trash communicate punctuates the eerie silence when the songs is not echoing.

On Saturday, Mookie Betts cracked a solo residence run off Josiah Grey, 1 of team’s leading prospects. Justin Turner additional a two-operate household operate en route to the household team’s 4-3 gain.

Chico, nevertheless, stole the display to avenge his rough debut.

Herrera caught for pitchers for the duration of the league’s shutdown but he didn’t anticipate to play in scrimmages. Turner educated him he was going to suit up for a person of the teams through batting exercise right before the team’s to start with scrimmage.

Herrera was stunned. Then he obtained anxious. Then Taylor analyzed him early in the activity with a line generate that he misplayed. The one turned into a triple.

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“That was a quite embarrassing instant,” Herrera explained. “I experienced to go run to the ball. It was a prolonged operate.”

Herrera has considering the fact that proved to be a guaranteed-handed still left fielder. His expertise as a hitter, meanwhile, stay unclear due to the fact he has not been offered the chance to strike.

Roberts claimed Herrera won’t get an at-bat — the valuable couple accessible in coaching camp will go to gamers preparing for the year. But gamers want to see it. On Thursday, Turner took batting apply in a lower-off blue T-shirt with #LetChicoHit splashed on the front. Herrera is awesome with sticking to protection.

“I haven’t swung a bat in a though,” Herrera explained. “I’d make myself look like a idiot out there.”