The Los Angeles Dodgers have finally released their opening day lineup as they get set to take on the San Diego Padres in a few short hours at 4 PM Pacific Time. While some of the names on the lineup definitely will not shock you, the order of the lineup might leave you in a state of disbelief. Maybe.
Batting leadoff for the Dodgers today will be second baseman Chase Utley. This will be Utley’s ninth opening day start, but his first in the leadoff hole for a team. He was acquired by the Dodgers last season in a trade, and he will get first crack at the second base job while Howie Kendrick is on the disabled list.
From the official twitter account of the Los Angeles Dodgers:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 4, 2016
Perhaps the first thing that jumps off at the page at people is that rookie Corey Seager will be batting in the two hole during his opening day debut. That could shock some folks, but it does seem like Seager has earned the respect and trust of the coaching staff enough to warrant getting that job.
Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez, as you would expect, are going to be batting in the middle of the order. Instead of batting second, Dave Roberts has Yasiel Puig batting fifth today. The real interesting choice here is having Carl Crawford, who is starting in left field, batting sixth instead of putting Joc Pederson there. Pederson bats seventh.
Batting eighth and doing the catching will be A.J. Ellis, and his best friend Clayton Kershaw will be on the mound for his sixth straight opening day start. That’s the entirety of the Los Angeles lineup, and it’s what manager Dave Roberts will be rolling with in his first ever game that officially counts.