Over the weekend, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced Erik Bedard as the starter for the club’s Cactus League opener, scheduled for Wednesday.
During his meeting with media on Monday from Camelback Ranch, Mattingly said Clayton Kershaw would take the mound Thursday and announced the starters for Friday’s split-squad games, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
Mattingly confirms first 4 CL starters: Erik Bedard (Wednesday), Clayton Kershaw (Thursday), Zach Lee and David Huff (split-squad Friday)
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) March 2, 2015
The Dodgers later announced Carlos Frias, Juan Nicasio, Sergio Santos, Adam Liberatore and Josh Ravin would back Bedard in the spring opener. As for Thursday, Kershaw will be followed by Joe Weiland, Brandon League, Chris Hatcher, Daniel Coulombe and Ryan Buchter.
To no surprise, Kershaw was also tapped as the Opening Day starter, which will mark the fifth-consecutive year the Dodgers have opened the season with him on the mound. After throwing live batting practice on Saturday, Kershaw’s first in-game action will come against the Chicago White Sox.
Zach Lee will make his third-career Spring Training start on Friday and sixth appearance overall. The Dodgers’ first-round pick from the 2010 draft has largely had subpar results in the Minors and is coming off a 7-13 record with a 5.39 ERA in his first experience at the Triple-A level.
David Huff signed a Minor League deal in January and is among the players in big league camp on a non-roster invite. He spent last season with the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees, finishing with a combined 3.36 ERA in 59.0 innings. Huff has made 35 career Spring Training appearances, including 12 starts.
With Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu both making their way back from minor ailments, the Dodgers don’t appear to be in any rush to get either on the mound. The approach is understandable considering there’s ample time to get both their share of starts and the Dodgers have plenty of pitching depth to evaluate.
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