Waking up to see Clayton Kershaw listed as the day’s starting pitcher is never a bad way to do so. He’ll make his second start today, as the Dodgers try to get back to their spring winning ways against the Chicago Cubs.
Kershaw will have a familiar face behind the plate today, which I’d imagine he’s pretty happy with.
Here’s the full lineup, as always, via the Dodgers’ official twitter account.
Revised Dodger lineup for today:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 8, 2016
The revision in that lineup is a straightforward swap, as Alex Guerrero’s spot in the lineup as DH has been given to Andre Ethier, whose hand must be feeling better. More on that in a bit.
At the top of the lineup, Carl Crawford makes the start today in left field. While the Dodgers have reportedly told him Ethier has earned the starting job in left, all Crawford can do is make that decision as tough on Dave Roberts as he possibly can.
Yasiel Puig will start in right field and bat second. Puig has a couple RBI so far, but aside from that, it’s been a fairly quiet spring so far. This can also be seen as a good thing as Puig has a tendency to make negative noise at times, but none of that has taken place quite yet.
Chase Utley will bat third and play third base today. I thought maybe Howie Kendrick would get the start here today, but the team must be managing his groin issue with the utmost precaution, which is the right thing to do so early in games that don’t matter.
The aforementioned Ethier will bat cleanup in the DH spot. His hand must be healing pretty quickly for such a notable turnaround time back into the batting order, which means we’re probably not too far away from his taking the field, too.
A.J. Ellis will catch for Kershaw today, as Yasmani Grandal caught the latter’s first start this spring. Ellis will bat fifth.
Kike Hernandez will play shortstop and bat sixth. He hasn’t been moved around as much as one would expect given his expected role this season, but with only Justin Turner out and Adrian Gonzalez nursing that neck issue, there are simply too many bodies to plug into spots Hernandez might usually give a spot start in.
Trayce Thompson will bat seventh and man center field today. Thompson is another guy whose spring hasn’t necessarily taken anyone by storm, and if he really hopes to leapfrog Joc Pederson or someone else above him on the depth chart, he’ll need to do significantly more.
Rob Segedin, who has been having a pretty good spring, especially from the plate will play first base today and bat eighth.
Micah Johnson cannot say the same as Segedin, and really hopes to turn things around in fairly short order.
As we mentioned earlier, Kershaw will look to build off his strong first outing and does so against a very strong Cubs team. Joe Blanton, Carlos Frias, Pedro Baez and Jacob Rhame are slated to pitch behind Kershaw today.