James Outman: Shortened Spring Training Gave Dodgers ‘Sense Of Urgency’

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers completed their Cactus League schedule on Wednesday and now are en route to South Korea for the highly anticipated Seoul Series that will be held from March 20-21.

The Dodgers are playing two exhibition games prior to starting the regular season against the San Diego Padres at Gocheok Sky Dome. The stadium was recently renovated in preparation for the historic matchup.

The Dodgers and Padres being selected to play in South Korea forced both teams to navigate through shortened Spring Training timelines. The earlier start to the season meant that players had less time to build up for the grueling demands of a 162-game schedule.

While that could be viewed as a potential disadvantage, James Outman believes the shortened spring has given the Dodgers a greater sense of getting prepared, via SportsNet LA:

“I feel good. I think the quick spring gave us a little bit of a sense of urgency out of the gate. I think we’re feeling good, I think we’re feeling ready to go.”

While the Dodgers usually start the season strong, there have been times where they looked a little sluggish out of the gate. What could prove challenging is adjusting back to being in the United States after spending one week in South Korea.

As for Outman, he’s now entering a second full MLB season and will once again be the Dodgers’ starting center fielder. He hit a solid .248/.353/.437 with 16 doubles, three triples, 23 home runs and 70 RBI in 151 games last year.

Among qualified rookies, Outman ranked third in runs scored (86) and FanGraphs’ WAR (4.4), sixth in home runs and RBI, ninth in walk percentage (12%) and tied for 13th in wRC+ (118).

Dave Roberts hopes Dodgers players embrace Seoul Series

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged the concerns of beginning a season earlier than usual but wants his players to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. “I hope their mindset is to be excited, looking forward to it. There’s no downside in that,” he began.

“So I’m sure that it’s different. It’s out of our routines, but I think I’m excited about it. And I hope our players are excited about it. We’re playing two games that matter. And like I said, there’s nothing we can do about it, so you better look forward to it.”

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