In the days leading up the Los Angeles Dodgers’ first Cactus League game of 2015, manager Don Mattingly announced Erik Bedard was getting the nod to take the hill against the Chicago White Sox.
On Monday, Mattingly set the rotation for the Dodgers’ first four games and which relievers would follow the respective starters on Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday, the Dodgers’ lineup for their first spring game was revealed and of note, it has Andre Ethier starting in center field with Jimmy Rollins batting leadoff, via Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
Dodgers lineup for Wednesday: Rollins SS Crawford LF Gonzalez 1B Kendrick 2B Grandal C Ethier CF Uribe 3B Pederson DH Heisey RF
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) March 3, 2015
With Joc Pederson serving as the designated hitter, he’ll at some point be replaced in the lineup by Corey Seager, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
When Pederson leaves the game tomorrow, he will be replaced by Corey Seager.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) March 3, 2015
With the center field job up for grabs, it’s long been presumed the highly touted Pederson would eventually be anointed the every day starter. However, the Dodgers have maintained it’s an open competition with no guarantees made to the 22-year-old Pederson.
While Ethier has expressed a desire to start on an every day basis, he doesn’t believe center field is the best position for him at 33 years old. Mattingly recently backed Ethier’s ability to play multiple positions, including first base, but the club nonetheless appears to see center field as his primary opportunity for playing time.
As Cactus League games begin, center field is the lone position where the Dodgers don’t yet have a clearcut starter. In theory, catcher could be included as well, however that’s more along the lines Mattingly determining how he wants to split the duties between A.J. Ellis and Yasmani Grandal.
Dodgers 2015 FanFest