Coming off a victory against the Giants, the Dodgers look to improve on what’s been an impressive first few games at Camelback Ranch. They’ll face the Cleveland Indians with first pitch scheduled for 12:05, PM PST.
There are a couple noteworthy aspects of this lineup starting at the very top.
This, via the Dodgers’ official Twitter.
Today’s Dodger lineup:
Van Slyke LF
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 7, 2016
Joc Pederson will bat lead-off and play center field today. There’s simply no other way to say this: He looks completely lost at the plate. The thinking is always that a slump could be turned around in the next at-bat, but all the tinkering seems to have messed with his confidence at the plate. Let’s hope this changes, quickly.
Right behind Pederson in the lineup is Howie Kendrick. This isn’t all that incredible in and of itself. What’s more interesting is where Kendrick will take the field today. He’s at third base today, for the first time this spring.
The tweaks continue in the batting order, as Adrian Gonzalez will be third, instead of his typical cleanup spot. He will, however, still be at first base. Those waiting for his first spot start on the mound will have to continue to do so.
Scott Van Slyke will bat cleanup and play left field today. By my unofficial count, it’s the first time he’ll play in the outfield this spring.
Yasmani Grandal starts a catcher today and bats fifth. Basically nothing to point our here.
Corey Seager will bat sixth and play his customary shortstop. While much has been made of Pederson’s struggles from the plate, Seager is still looking for his first hit of the spring. There’s literally no way to overstate how crucial both players are for the Dodgers this year, so the sooner at least one gets on track, the better.
Trayce Thompson will play right field and bat seventh. A popular refrain so far has been a rumbling among the fan base that Thompson might swipe Pederson’s starting job. I’d say four spring training games is nowhere near enough for that to take place, but maybe I’m crazy.
Rob Segedin bats DH and will hit eighth. Segedin has made solid contact in most of his opportunities thus far, including those two home runs.
Last but definitely not least in the batting order is Charlie Culberson. He’s working to cement his place in history among the all-timers to play this game, and my money is on him doing so. Don’t you dare tell me I’m getting ahead of myself. He’s hitting .833.
Alex Wood will be your Dodgers starting pitcher this afternoon, with Brandon Beachy, Ian Thomas, JP Howell, Kenley Jansen, Yimi Garcia and Louis Coleman scheduled to pitch after him.