Today marks the third of 19 consecutive games for the Los Angeles Dodgers ahead of their trip to Australia. After splitting their two-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the boys in blue take on the Chicago White Sox in the “Battle of Camelback Ranch”. This will be the White Sox first exhibition game despite the fact that almost every team has already played a game this spring.
The Dodgers head into today’s game off an exciting 4-3 win yesterday against their NL West rivals. Juan Uribe had two hits with 2 RBI, which included the Dodgers first home run of the spring. Not so exciting yesterday was Zack Greinke’s departure from the game with a mild right calf strain after throwing just four pitches. After an underwhelming performance from Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw two days ago, starting pitching has started off a little shaky in these early spring training games.
The focus now turns to left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryn as he makes his Spring Training debut today. After slimming down this off-season before camp started, his odds of avoiding a sophomore slump are promising. Ryu finished the 2013 season 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA and came in fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. If Kershaw doesn’t make a start during the Australia games, Ryu will likely be assigned to start one of the two games.
Today, the Dodgers will face White Sox ace Chris Sale and for many players, it’ll be their first time facing the hard throwing lefty. Manager Don Mattingly continues to experiment at second base as Alex Guerrero will get his second start in three games this afternoon. Chone Figgins, who’s also competing for a spot as a utility player and at second base, gets the nod in left field as Yasiel Puig gets his first day off this spring.
Catcher A.J. Ellis returns to the lineup after a two-game absence due to the flu while Carl Crawford, who experienced quad tightness remained out of the lineup. Other notable additions are Drew Butera, who gets his first start at designated hitter and Justin Turner is at third base as he’s also looking to make the squad.
Including today’s game, the Dodgers only have 17 games left before they travel across the globe for their opening series against the Diamondbacks in Australia. While it’s tough to make decisions based off Spring Training games, Mattingly and the coaching staff will soon have to make some tough decisions.
For all Time Warner Cable subscribers, the game will be on SportsNet LA and will start at 12:05 PM PT. For Dodger fans who currently don’t have the luxury of SportsNet LA at the click of their remote, tune into Dodgers radio AM570 to hear the action. Check out their radio schedule for the remainder of spring training here.
RF: Van Slyke
White Sox Lineup:
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