The Los Angeles Dodgers are in their final week at Camelback Ranch for Spring Training 2014 and Wednesday’s game is against an opponent they know all too well, the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks and Dodgers have had plenty of time to get to know each other this spring. They began the Cactus League schedule playing one another in the first two games and after meeting for the final time in Spring Training, will face each other in the Opening Series in Australia on March 22.
In the first meeting between the two teams back on Feb. 26, the Diamondbacks got to Clayton Kershaw and won the game, 4-1. The Dodgers bounced back the following day and beat a splitsquad Diamondbacks team, 4-3. Perhaps as an act of showmanship for the rubber match, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson elected to keep all the expected everyday starters at the team’s home Spring Training complex to face the Colorado Rockies. In addition to not sending a lineup heavy on expected starters, a minor league pitcher will be making the start for the Diamondbacks.
Due to a death in his family, manager Don Mattingly isn’t with the team on Wednesday. Tim Wallach, who is in his first year as bench coach for the Dodgers, will be the acting manager. Taking the mound for the Dodgers will be Zack Greinke, who’s making his first start since only throwing four pitches in his first outing and then being lifted due to a right calf strain. Greinke began throwing off a flat surface last week and then threw to live hitters, one of which was Matt Kemp, in a simulation game over the weekend. The right-hander completed more work on Tuesday without suffering any setbacks and now looks to get through a start and resume his preparation for the regular season.
The goal today is for Greinke to throw two innings and he’ll be followed by Kenley Jansen, Chris Perez, JP Howell, Chris Withrow and Zach Lee.
Yasiel Puig is back at the leadoff position after batting third on Tuesday. Perhaps with the exception of Figgins, the Dodgers lineup resembles what’ll likely be seen come the Opening Series. Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez are each hitting over .300 thus far in Spring Training, while Hanley Ramirez, who bats third, is struggling a bit with a .208 average.
Dodger fans who have Time Warner cable as their provider can catch today’s game at 12:05 PM PT. For those who aren’t subscribed to Time Warner Cable, today’s game will be broadcasted on Dodgers radio AM570. The complete radio broadcast schedule for the remainder of Dodgers spring training games can be seen here.
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