The Dodgers looked nice and ready for Opening Day yesterday in their game against the Texas Rangers. Clayton Kershaw went for his longest outing yet, and was dominant — he struck out 11 of the 21 batters he faced in 92 pitches, allowing two hits and one walk. The prime time slot for the game last night showed MLB that its best pitcher he’s ready to go.
Chase Utley, filling in at first base for Adrian Gonzalez, went 3-for-4 with a home run. He also did the exact same in Tuesday’s game.
Rob Segedin also is staying hot this spring. He’s returned from his play with Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic and in his one at-bat yesterday, hit a home run. Six of nine of his hits while in the Cactus League are for extra bases, three of them home runs. He also had a double and a home run in the WBC.
Andre Ethier‘s future is still uncertain at this point. After dealing with hip and back issues early this spring, he had an MRI that revealed a herniated disc. He went on to have X-rays and a CT scan and will meet with Dr. Robert Watkins to determine his path going forward. It seems that he could well be starting his season in the DL.
This would open a spot for one of those players vying for a spot on the Opening Day roster. So far we know that Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Franklin Gutierrez have definitely secured spots. Andrew Toles has been having a good spring, batting .333, with a .786 OPS and four extra base hits. Trayce Thompson is also looking solid, now that he is healthy — a .316 BA and an .883 OPS with three home runs. Thompson will start Friday’s game against Arizona in center field. Scott Van Slyke will start in left, another candidate to make the squad as a utility player.
Both Charlie Culberson and Chris Taylor have been making their respective cases for spots on the 25-man roster. Taylor has been tearing it up on the field and the batter’s box. Enrique Hernandez returns from the WBC and will be trying to state his case, and gets the start at shortstop on Friday.
Corey Seager had five at-bats and played defense in a minor league game yesterday. It was his first time playing the field since dealing with upper-back tightness on March 3. He still seems to be on his way to being healthy and in the lineup on Opening Day. He is slated to play seven innings in a minor league game Saturday.
Trevor Oaks gets the start today against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Oaks impressed in his last outing against Team Japan, and has yet to allow a run this spring. Kenta Maeda will start on the minor league side, trying to build up to six innings.
In other rehab news, Pedro Baez will throw a bullpen session today. He has been dealing with an injured finger after taking a comebacker off of it. He will throw again Sunday, either another bullpen session or live batting practice.
Scott Kazmir will make his next start on Sunday in Cactus League play against Texas. His last one was on the minor league side, going four innings and afterwards said his results improved after making a stance adjustment.
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