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by Rowan Kavner

Former Dodger batting coach Ben Hines passed away Wednesday at Pomona Valley Hospital at the age of 85.

Hines, born in Yeager, Oklahoma, on Nov. 7, 1935, joined the Dodgers as a roving instructor in 1984 and began his tenure alongside Manny Mota as a Dodger batting instructor in 1985 after a successful 20-year coaching career at the University of La Verne.

After serving as an organizational hitting instructor for the Dodgers in 1985 and 1986, Hines spent the 1987 season as batting coach for the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque, helping the Dukes win a championship and the league’s batting title. …


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(Photo by Campbell Dunn/MLB)

(Editor’s Note: Throughout the offseason, Dodger Insider will recap each position group from the 2020 season. The series continues in right field.)

Previous Editions:
First Base
Second Base
Shortstop
Third Base
Left Field
Center Field


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Orel Hershiser and Tommy Lasorda (Photo by Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Rowan Kavner

The nickname Orel Hershiser received from Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda might seem more appropriate for a heavyweight boxer or an offensive lineman. It was not one the slim right-handed pitcher particularly enjoyed at first.

Hershiser appreciated the gesture, because it meant he was accepted as “one of the guys,” but he didn’t feel like a Bulldog. Hershiser said he is still more often trying to run away from defeat and embarrassment than he is running toward success with confidence.

It became a catalyst for a pitcher seeking his edge.

Hershiser started to hear “Bulldog” from fans and teammates. When he did, he felt he grew tougher on the mound, capable of getting out of any jam that presented itself. He had to act like Lasorda wanted him to act. The moniker started to remove the fear. …


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by Rowan Kavner

Nearly everyone who met Tommy Lasorda during his 71 seasons in the Dodger organization had a story about the Hall of Fame manager, who passed away Thursday night at the age of 93.

Many of those who knew Lasorda well shared their condolences and fond memories of the former Dodger player, scout, coach, manager, executive and special advisor, who was one of baseball’s all-time great ambassadors and unforgettable personalities.

(*Note: These will continue being updated as they come in.)

Mark Walter, Dodgers owner and chairman: “My family, my partners and I were blessed to have spent a lot of time with Tommy. He was a great ambassador for the team and baseball. A mentor to players and coaches, he always had time for an autograph and a story for his many fans and he was a good friend. …


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(Photo by Jon Soohoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

by Rowan Kavner

Reliever Blake Treinen’s decision to return to Los Angeles came together quickly in the last couple weeks.

Treinen said the Dodgers and a handful of other teams aggressively expressed interest in him once free agency began. In the end, he chose the team that “checked all the boxes.” He knew what the Dodgers could bring after a 2020 championship season together.

“Any time the best team in baseball wants to sign you, it’s a blessing,” Treinen said after signing a two-year deal through the 2022 season with a team option for a third year. “Yeah, obviously in the back of my mind they know me from last year. …


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(Photo by Carrie Giordano/Los Angeles Dodgers)

by Rowan Kavner

The Dodgers re-signed right-handed reliever Blake Treinen to a two-year deal through the 2022 season with a team option for 2023.

Treinen went 3–3 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 22 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings in his first season in Los Angeles in 2020. The 32-year-old was tied for the team lead among relievers in wins and appearances (27) and led the team with nine holds. Treinen also recorded one save.

He induced a lot of soft contact, ranking in the top one percent of the league in barrel percentage (1.3%) and the top five percent of the league in exit velocity (84.8 mph). A year after allowing a career-high nine home runs in 2019, Treinen allowed one in 2020. Treinen also lowered his walk percentage from 13.9 percent in 2019 to 7.5 …


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(Photo by Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

(Editor’s Note: Throughout the offseason, Dodger Insider will recap each position group from the 2020 season. The series continues with center field.)

Previous Editions:
First Base
Second Base
Shortstop
Third Base
Left Field

by Rowan Kavner


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by Rowan Kavner

Sandra Scully, beloved wife of Dodgers Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully, passed away Sunday at the age of 76 after a years-long battle with ALS.

She leaves behind her husband, Vin, children Catherine, Kelly, Erin, Todd, Kevin and Michael as well as 21 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Sandi Scully, the loving wife of Vin and a dear member of the Dodger family,” said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. “Sandi was Vin’s biggest fan and was always there in loving support of him at Dodger Stadium until she began her battle with ALS. …


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(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

by Rowan Kavner

The Dodgers officially agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Tommy Kahnle on a two-year deal.

Kahnle spent the last four seasons with the Yankees, going 6–3 with a 4.01 ERA and 157 strikeouts in 112 1/3 innings, before undergoing Tommy John surgery in August.

The 31-year-old enjoyed one of his best Major League seasons in 2019, posting a 3.67 ERA while striking out 12.9 batters per nine innings with a career-best 1.06 WHIP in a career-high 72 games. He struck out 67 batters with his changeup in 2019, which led all Major League relievers.

Kahnle was limited to one appearance before the UCL injury in 2020, striking out three batters in a scoreless inning on July 26 against the Nationals. …


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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

by Rowan Kavner

The Dodgers acquired left-handed pitcher Garrett Cleavinger from the Phillies as part of a three-team deal between Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

Dodgers minor league infielder Dillon Paulson and a player to be named later or cash considerations will go to Tampa Bay, while the Rays will send left-handed pitcher José Alvarado to Philadelphia.

Cleavinger, 26, was a third-round pick of the Orioles in 2015 who made his debut for the Phillies last season, allowing one run with one strikeout in 2/3 innings on Sept. 17 against the Mets. The University of Oregon product was 19–12 with a 4.08 ERA, 294 strikeouts and 130 walks in 220 1/3 innings across five minor league seasons with the Phillies. Cleavinger spent the 2019 season with Double-A Reading, striking out 83 batters in 51 2/3 innings with a 3.66 …

About

Rowan Kavner

Editor, Digital & Print Publications for the Los Angeles Dodgers | Twitter: @RowanKavner

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