The Los Angeles Dodgers will be taking on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this afternoon in Arizona, and the lineup for today’s contest came out shortly ago. There was an interesting name at the top of the list, and Scott Kazmir will be giving it a second go on the mound this spring.
The lineup was mixed between a few regulars and a few of the guys who could make the team as depth players if needed. It’s a pretty interesting concoction going on there, and it’s one that should actually lend itself to some runs being scored for the good Los Angeles team if all goes well.
From the Los Angeles Dodgers’ official Twitter account this morning:
Dodgers lineup vs. Angels:
Van Slyke RF
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 9, 2016
The major thing your eyes go to first is that Joc Pederson is going to be leading off the game and playing in center field. He’s struggled this spring as he’s only 1-for-7 with 5 strikeouts. He does have 2 walks, though, so there is that. The team will need him to figure it out.
Andre Ethier is getting the start in left field, and he’s 4-for-7 this spring with 2 runs scored. He’s been one of the Dodgers’ more consistent bats in the lineup when he’s been given game time early in Spring Training. It’s nice to see him back out there as the team faces a right-handed pitcher.
Adrian Gonzalez, the team’s ever-steady presence in the middle of the order, gives the squad their third straight left-handed bat to begin the order. Gonzalez is 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout thus far in Spring Training, but we all know he’ll be good to go for the season.
In the cleanup spot is Scott Van Slyke. He’ll be taking Yasiel Puig’s spot in right field today. Van Slyke is 4-for-10 with a home run and 2 runs batted in so far this spring. He’s been a pleasant surprise and it’s cool to see him in there against right-hander Jered Weaver of the Angels.
Yasmani Grandal, who is 2-for-7 this spring, is slotted into the fifth spot in the order and will be the team’s catcher this afternoon as Scott Kazmir takes the mound. Grandal was one of the best pitch framers in baseball all of last season, so Kazmir should get a nice little boost working with him.
Rookie Corey Seager will be the shortstop today, and he’ll be batting sixth. He’s gone 2-for-7 with one double and 2 strikeouts thus far in the Dodgers’ Spring Training schedule. He’ll be the squad’s Opening Day shortstop so don’t worry too much about him yet.
Batting seventh and acting as the team’s designated hitter this afternoon will be Austin Barnes. The multi-faceted Barnes is just 1-for-7 right now, but does have 4 walks and a stolen base. You can see the ways he can help the team this year either as a spot-starter behind the plate or as a utility man.
Rob “Babe Ruth” Segedin gets the nod at the hot corner today, and all he’s done this spring is go 5-for-12 with 2 home runs, 5 runs batted in, and 3 runs scored. He also has 3 doubles. His 1.628 OPS ranks second on the team at this juncture behind only Charlie Culberson’s 2.250 mark.
Batting ninth and starting at second base is Elian Herrera. He’s 1-for-8 this spring with one strikeout. Herrera is a longshot to make the roster as a bench player, but he has shown some quality things out there such as his fielding and versatility. He’s had his moments.
Scott Kazmir, as mentioned earlier, will be on the mound for the Dodgers, and this will be his second appearance this spring for the team. He went 2 innings in his prior appearance and gave up 2 runs on 6 hits. He did whiff 2 batters, though. He’s still working the kinks out, but he’ll be fine.
Also slated to pitch today are Mike Bolsinger, Chris Hatcher, Jamey Wright, Luis Avilan, and Jharel Cotton. No word on the order, but those’ll be the pitchers who take over for Kazmir after his stint is done. Bolsinger has his eyes on the fifth starter job, so he’ll be a guy to watch this afternoon.