The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to be playing two games tonight, but only one of them will be televised by the Dodgers themselves. That game involves the Chicago Cubs, one of the teams that made the National League Championship Series last season. On the mound for Los Angeles will be Brandon Beachy.
Beachy has thrown a grand total of 8 innings in the last two Major League seasons, so the team is still trying to figure out what they have in him. And with the news coming out about Alex Wood, they might need Beachy more than people realize. This could be a big step for him.
From the official Los Angeles Dodgers twitter account:
Tonight’s lineup (SS) vs. CHC:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 12, 2016
There’s your lineup for the game against the Cubs. It features Carl Crawford in the leadoff spot. He’s just 3-for-12 during the spring, but he does appear to at least be fully up to speed as far as health goes. He’s running well, swinging the bat quite solidly, and that’s a good sign for him.
Joc Pederson is 4-for-12 this spring with a home run, but he has struck out six times. He’ll be in center field, which is where Dave Roberts gave the young phenom an endorsement. Pederson will be the team’s Opening Day center fielder, so all the talk about if he’ll get replaced can effectively go away.
Yasiel Puig will be batting third and in right field tonight. He’s 4-for-11 in Spring Training with three runs batted in. He’s hit the ball hard quite a bit, but he does have three strikeouts. Puig still has all that potential from a couple years ago, and he does appear in a lot better shape than last season.
Batting fourth and acting as the designated hitter will be Adrian Gonzalez. He’s 2-for-10 this spring but is coming off of his first home run of the March campaign. So, that’s a great sign. Gonzalez is the status quo for the team. You know what you’re going to get out of him.
Chase Utley will be batting fifth and playing third base. The man with a rule now named after him is 3-for-12 at the dish so far, but he’s still seen as nothing more than as a utility player going into camp, and that’s fine. Also, since he will be that, is he now Chase Utility? Too much?
Austin Barnes has had a wonderful spring, and he’ll be behind the plate and batting sixth. Barnes is 6-for-16 with two home runs, four runs batted in, and four walks. He also has a stolen base. If something happens to Yasmani Grandal, it might be Barnes who takes over instead of A.J. Ellis.
One of the team’s top prospects, Cody Bellinger, will be batting seventh and playing first base tonight. He’s 6-for-11 this spring with two walks. Everyone has raved about his ability to hit, and his athleticism at first base is very noticeable when it comes to defense. He’s a player there.
Batting eight and playing shortstop will be Charlie Culberson (#Culberson2016). He no longer leads the team in OPS, but he is still third. Culberson is 7-for-15 with a home run and seven runs batted in. He’s been pretty impressive when out there, and he might have a spot if he keeps performing.
Rounding out the order will be Micah Johnson. He’ll be batting ninth and playing second base. Johnson is 6-for-19, and he’s received the second most at-bats of anyone on the team thus far. Only Trayce Thompson has more. He’s flashed his potential here and there, and he does look good.
As mentioned earlier, Brandon Beachy will be on the mound. Beachy has thrown two scoreless innings so far during Spring Training, but he’s walked two and given up a hit. He’s still yet to record a strikeout. He’s still likely to begin the season in the minors.
Also pitching for the Dodgers tonight in this game will be Luis Avilan, Joe Blanton, Jamey Wright, and Chris Hatcher.