"There are obviously some growing pains, getting to know a catcher. But he's been great. He's done everything you can ask for. Everyone always comes in with a reputation regardless. I just try to tune it out and judge for myself."
Grandal was acquired this offseason as the centerpiece in the trade that sent outfielder Matt Kemp to San Diego. The switch-hitting catcher, who is under club control through 2018, slashed .225/.327/.401 with 15 homers and 85 RBI in 2014. He posted a .795 OPS after the All-Star break last season.
"I always like to drive the ball the other way. In the offseason, that's what I worked on a lot instead of jumping at the ball right away," said Grandal to MLB.com. "A lot of my power is the other way."
Manager Don Mattingly said after the game that this is what they envisioned coming to the roster as a part of the Matt Kemp trade.
"That's what we saw late in the year last year," Mattingly said.
"I like what I see and what I hear from him," Yeager said. "It takes time to gain the respect of the pitching staff and teammates whenever a catcher comes from somewhere else, but some of them already know him. In the old Dodger tradition, we've welcomed him with open arms. He has come in with a good attitude; you don't have to go looking for him. He's right there, ready to go to work."
Grandal was acquired this offseason as the centerpiece in the trade that sent outfielder Matt Kemp to San Diego.
"In a short time, I've already learned a lot," Grandal said. "Getting to know the guys, catching bullpens, I'm getting a feel for how they throw. Everything comes with time. Once the games start [on Wednesday], it'll definitely come a little faster. I need to get to know what guys are looking for in a catcher, what their mentality is. Some guys like you to give them a pat on the back. With others, it's a different approach."
Grandal is expected to share time behind the plate with incumbent starter A.J. Ellis this season.
"There’s nothing going to come out of this camp where we’re going to say, ‘OK, this guy is going to start 72 percent of the time’" general manager Andrew Friedman said. "It’s going to be much more about Donnie (Mattingly) writing the lineup each and every day for what gives us the best chance to win that day."
Mattingly admitted that Grandal has "tremendous upside offensively," so it's possible he could lead that way more often. While Mattingly has indicated that he doesn't want to assign any personal catchers yet, there's a sense Ellis could be used when Clayton Kershaw is on the mound.
Grandal hit .225/.327/.401 over 377 at-bats last year. Ellis hit .191/.323/.254 over 283 at-bats.
"A.J. couldn't put it any better: He said, 'Whatever it takes to win,'" Grandal said. "If that day, A.J. is the man for the job behind the plate and we are going to get a win with A.J. behind the plate, that's going to be him. At the end of the day, if we get a ring, that's going to be a team win and we all have rings. Twenty years from now, I get to show that ring off and say, 'Hey, I won a World Series.'"
Grandal, who hit .225 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI for the Padres in 2014, was traded to Los Angeles in the offseason in exchange for Matt Kemp among other players.
"I think both teams got what they wanted," Grandal said. "The Dodgers were looking for a catcher. The Padres were looking for a big-time bat. That's what Kemp brought to the table and that's what I brought to the table."
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs San Francisco|
|vs San Francisco||50||14||5||.356||.700||.280|
|vs Heston (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
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