Coffee and Clippings: What is Andrew Friedman thinking? He finally tells us

Houston Mitchell (@latimeshouston) of the LA Times on Andrew Friedman and his perception of the direction of the Dodgers…

When asked to explain to fans what the Dodgers’ main objective is:

“We’re going to do everything we can to compete as quickly as we can, and all the while build up our farm system as quickly and aggressively as we can. … I think large-revenue teams can sometimes fall into a trap of focusing too much on the current, and that is something that we have tried to be extremely mindful of. We certainly understand and respect the fans’ passion. It’s one of the things I like most about my job.

“We feel like our responsibility is to do everything we can to sustain a certain level of success — as you look at it over a five-year period, a seven-year period, a 10-year period, we’re able to play through that time period as an upper-echelon, elite-level team. And it’s not as easy as people think it is, especially if you devote a large percentage of your focus and resources on just the now.”

How does winning a World Series play into all that?

Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) of the New York Post updates the Aroldis Chapman situation as rumors swirl around the Yankee reliever…

Regardless of formal charges, Commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to use powers gained in a new domestic abuse protocol to suspend Chapman, with a ruling expected before the end of spring. Manfred does not need charges to deliver a suspension, and the gun allegations combined with the domestic abuse allegations means that it could be for more than the 10 to 15 games so many are suspecting.

Chapman said he would appeal a suspension.

Look, in sports, I think fans talk morality, but have generally checked theirs at the door, coming up with whatever rationale necessary to root for their guy: Barry Bonds in San Francscio, Mark McGwire in St. Louis and, yep, Alex Rodriguez in New York. The only thing requested is quality play and then pretty much all else is forgiven, so if Chapman — when he does pitch — dominates as he has in the past, he will at least win the precincts in The Bronx vicinity.

Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) of the Boston Herald spotlights Pablo Sandoval returning to switch hitting…

Last August, when Pablo Sandoval was just beginning to show improved results as a left-handed hitter against left-handed pitching, he told the Herald he wanted to go back to the right side against lefties and become a switch hitter again in 2016.

He had always been a switch hitter, but after he went 2-for-41 as a right-handed hitter against left-handed pitching to begin the year, it was decided he would abandon switch hitting and only take hacks from the left side.

He showed improvement, hitting .255 with a .590 OPS left-on-left.

Now he’s going back to the right side to give it another try.

Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) of the Providence Journal highlights Rick Porcello and his efforts to improve his curveball…

Rick Porcello made as many adjustments as he could during the month he spent on the disabled list late last season. His arrival at JetBlue Park marks the start of his opportunity to make the rest of his adjustments.

“All of this stuff is a lot easier to do in March than it is in the middle of the season,” he said.

Perhaps the most significant adjustment was the way he used his fastball. A pitcher who made his name in the major leagues with a two-seam fastball had convinced himself he needed to get swings and misses with his four-seam fastball. The result was a career-worst 25 home runs allowed and a 4.92 ERA, hardly the type of performance Boston expected when it inked him to a four-year, $82.5 million contract extension.

Jesse Rodgers (@ESPNChiCubs) of ESPN asks what Joe Maddon’s lineup will look like in 2016…

If ever the term “mad scientist” applied to a baseball manager, then Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon has dibs on it. He’s not one to play the same eight players every day in the same position in the batting order.

In fact, his philosophy is in stark contrast to many others. He wants his players — including his bullpen — to be on their toes. One day Kris Bryant might be batting fourth and playing third base, the next he could be hitting third and playing right field.

Maybe there will be less moving around this year, but don’t count on it because the other philosophy Maddon espouses is rest. He wants his guys fresh for the long haul — including his star players. That could mean sitting guys even in the heart of a pennant race, as he did last season. It also gives him the opportunity to mix and match his lineup accordingly.