Down to just three games before flying to Australia for the Opening Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers are suddenly dealing with a rash of injuries, particularly for the projected back end of the starting rotation. Josh Beckett started Friday’s game with a sprained thumb and was removed just three innings in with what the team called a thumb contusion and Dan Haren spoke of arm fatigue following his last start.
The Dodgers are slated to play two games on Saturday without needing to leave Camelback Ranch. First up is an afternoon affair with the San Diego Padres, followed by a nightcap against the Chicago White Sox.
Prior to today’s game, it was presumed that Sam Demel would start for the Dodgers, but a last second switch has 17-year-old left-hander Julio Urias starting. Urias is regarded as the Dodgers top pitching prospect and we have him ranked as their third ranked prospect overall. It’s assumed that he’ll pitch just one inning and the bullpen will take over, but that could change with how he does in the first inning.
Taking the mound for the Padres is Joe Wieland, who’s pitched three games in relief and is also making his first start this spring. Wieland struggled in his first outing, allowing four runs on four hits in just 2/3 of an inning pitched. He recovered in his next two appearances, allowing no runs in four innings of work. The Padres and Dodgers met on March 2, which ended in a 3-3 tie.
The all important Clayton Kershaw looks to avoid being another starting pitcher who finishes his start at less than 100 percent. In what will be his final start before Game 1 of the 2014 season, Kershaw draws the White Sox, who the Dodgers defeated 5-0 back in February. The left-handed ace hasn’t been his usual self through spring, allowing at least two runs in all three of his starts. Starting opposite Kershaw is fellow left-hander Chris Sale, who’s in his fourth season with the White Sox. Sale pitched in the first meeting against the Dodgers, allowing one hit in 2.2 innings.
The afternoon game against the Padres won’t be available on SportsNet LA, but the night game between the two Camelback Ranch tenants will be. The game against the White Sox is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. PT start and will also be available on the Dodgers’ Spanish radio broadcast.
Dodgers lineup (vs. Padres):
Dodgers lineup (vs. White Sox):
1B: Van Slyke
White Sox lineup:
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