Manager Dave Roberts might be up to something on Thursday afternoon when the Los Angeles Dodgers take the field in San Francisco against the Giants. Coming off of a night game on Wednesday, Roberts is resting both Carl Crawford and Justin Turner for the opener in The Bay Area.

Roberts and the Dodgers do not want to exhaust Turner’s abilities in the first month of the season considering just how fresh he is off of microfracture surgery this past offseason. With Crawford, it’s to keep him fresh all season long in the hopes that he’ll still be standing by the time Andre Ethier returns.

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From Andy McCullough, contact reporter for the Los Angeles Times:

Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts will begin parceling days off to his veteran position players Thursday in San Francisco. He expects to sit left fielder Carl Crawford and may also rest third baseman Justin Turner.

As it goes on to state, Roberts would either use Kike Hernandez or Charlie Culberson at third base if Turner is indeed sat for Thursday’s game. Scott Van Slyke or Trayce Thompson would take over in left field for Crawford. It’s at least a smart way to get some semblance of rest for some key veterans.

According to the lineup, the Dodgers will use Van Slyke in left and Kiké at third. While this might fly in the face of the “if it ain’t broke” way of thinking Roberts has utilized thus far (the lineup didn’t change at all, but for behind the plate), there is plenty of logic behind the decision.

If the team is to keep this train on the tracks, they’ll need to keep all the bodies healthy that they possibly can. That means giving players like Crawford and Turner some scheduled off days in order to preserve them. Those off days will likely come for Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Utley, as well.

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