Some of the information surrounding opening day for the Los Angeles Dodgers has started to come to light this afternoon, and it involves who will be in the lineup and things of that nature. For instance, as was already assumed, A.J. Ellis will be catching Clayton Kershaw because that’s what he does.
Beyond that, not much else was really known until manager Dave Roberts made it available today. So far, it sounds like Justin Turner will be playing third base and batting third while Adrian Gonzalez will be hitting cleanup and playing first base. It’s obviously fantastic to have both in the lineup.
From Bill Plunkett, Dodgers beat writer for the Orange County Register:
#Dodgers Opening Day lineup hints — Roberts said Turner-Gonzalez will bat 3-4. AJ Ellis will catch Kershaw. Utley an option at leadoff
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 30, 2016
The most interesting news to come out of all of this might be that Chase Utley is an option for the leadoff spot. That means that Utley will be the team’s starting second baseman when play opens up on April 4th, and that would make some sense since Utley is a left-handed batter and Padres starting pitcher Tyson Ross is a right-hander.
Beyond what was reported, we don’t know who else will be in the lineup. Obviously you can assume that Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson will be there somewhere, but we are yet to know where exactly. It seems like Puig could hit second and Pederson might be hitting sixth or seventh.
The biggest question mark is who is the opening day left fielder. Due to a right-hander being on the mound, we might see Carl Crawford start there. However, Scott Van Slyke has been great this spring and might win the job outright. There’s still a lot to be decided, but the picture is becoming clearer.