The Los Angeles Dodgers engage in interleague play today against the Oakland A’s in their sixth spring training game thus far. Today marks exactly 19 days until the team will play against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia and open the 2014 season. Despite coming off a tie with the San Diego Padres yesterday, the Dodgers are optimistic going into today’s matchup as Josh Beckett had a tremendous first start back from his season-ending surgery last July.
Today, the rotation resets and ace Clayton Kershaw will make his second start of the spring and will pitch three innings this afternoon. In last Wednesday’s start Kershaw wasn’t exactly sharp in two innings he gave up five hits and three runs. It was an uncharacteristic start to say the least and the two-time Cy Young award winner admitted he had things to work on after his first start. There still remains no answers as to whether or not Kershaw will make a start in Australia.
This will be Oakland’s fourth game of the spring season and A.J. Griffin will take the mound for the first time this spring. He was relied on last year as a mid-rotation guy, going 14-10 with a 3.60 ERA in 200 innings pitched. He’ll likely help fill out the end of the A’s rotation for the upcoming season.
Although there was a slim to non chance that he was going to have a spot on the roster, the Dodgers will be without Justin Sellers on the roster from this point on. Sellers was traded yesterday to the Cleveland Indians for cash. The 27-year-old was one of many infielders looking for an opportunity to play, but his inability to hit at the big league level is an issue.
Looking more closely at the competition for the starting second base position, Alex Guerrero, Dee Gordon, Chone Figgins, Miguel Rojas, and Justin Turner have all been given many opportunities to play in almost all of the spring training games so far. From what has rumored to be floating around the clubhouse, Gordon is expected to have the starting job with Guerrero starting the season in the minors in order to get more seasoning. Fourteen spring training games still remain though before the team has to make roster decisions for Australia.
Notable players in the lineup today are Nick Buss, who hasn’t shown much of anything this spring, Miguel Olivo is the designated hitter as he tries to unseat incumbent backup catcher Tim Federowicz. Reserves who are expected to play today include Guerrero, Joc Pederson and spring sensation Clint Robinson.
After Kershaw pitches his three innings, the Dodgers will get a look at Pedro Baez, Carlos Frias, Brandon League, Jarret Martin and Seth Rosin.
Time Warner Cable subscribers can tune into SportsNet LA at 12:05 pm to watch the game. Unfortunately, today’s game won’t be on the radio as cable distributors hope to make deals with Time Warner in the near future.
LF: Van Slyke
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