The Los Angeles Dodgers have close to a week before they play their Opening Series in Australia with only five games remaining until their Spring Training games are over. Today, they face the Cincinnati Reds for the second time this spring. In their first meeting, the Dodgers breezed past the Reds in a 10-3 win and the boys in blue look for a repeat performance today.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly won’t be present for the second day in a row due to an unfortunate death in his family. He’s expected to be back in Arizona for the game on Friday against the Cubs.
After Zack Greinke’s return yesterday, left-hander Paul Maholm will start for the Dodgers. Last Saturday against the Rangers, Maholm pitched three innings, allowing one run on three hits and additionally struck out four batters. In five innings pitched this spring, he’s demonstrated great control and only allowed three hits. It’s an important start for Maholm since Josh Beckett is uncertain to start tomorrow and he could be on his way to Australia with Dan Haren ailing with a tired arm.
Starting for the Reds is righty Alfredo Simon. In his past two season with the Reds he’s been utilized as a reliever, but today the Reds are giving the 33-year-old the start. Starter Mat Latos had left knee surgery to repair a meniscus and thus why the Reds are having Simon get stretched out. This spring, Simon has given up five runs in nine innings and walked four batters. Last season, the right-hander was effective out of the bullpen with a 2.87 ERA in 87.2 innings pitched.
For the Dodgers, Dee Gordon is back in the lineup starting at second base while Alex Guerrero continues to get work on the minor league side. No official decision has been made about who starts at second base come Opening Day, but it’s starting to look like Gordon will be the guy to start.
Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier start again while Justin Turner will get a start at first base. Chone Figgins starts in center field while Juan Uribe hits cleanup.
Roster spots are still not entirely secure. With 42 players currently on the roster, two more will likely be cut within the next few days so performances today are still important for some players on the cusp. At this point in the spring, veterans will start seeing their playing time increased as they prepare themselves for the regular season.
Today’s game will begin at 1:05 PM PT. For fans who have Time Warner Cable as a provider, the game will be on SportsNet LA. Unfortunately for the rest of Dodgers fans, the game won’t be on AM 570 Radio. Despite the long term uncertainty regarding other providers picking up SportsNet LA, fans shouldn’t be too worried since Time Warner believes deals could be made the day before Opening Day.
RF: Van Slyke
ICYMI: Clayton Kershaw is honored to start Game 1 for the Dodgers in Australia