White Sox @ Dodgers Mar. 4, 2015: Finally, Some (Kinda) Real Baseball-ish

Finally!

Five months after the Dodgers’ early playoff exit, three months after they had their entire offseason in one day. A baseball game. Well, for some of us. SNLA is still blacked out? Come on.

Instead of finding new ways to look at the same, static information, we get some new things to look at and over-analyze! For example, opening day starter Erik Bedard (sorry, had to do that once – Clayton Kershaw starts tomorrow), who will throw his first few innings in Dodger blue. Also, most of the Dodgers’ projected regular lineup is slated to start. Along with the players listed at the right, the following reserves are scheduled to play:

White Sox
Dodgers
12:05 p.m. PT
Glendale, Ariz.
CF
Eaton
SS
Rollins
LF
Cabrera
LF
Crawford
1B
Abreu
1B
Gonzalez
DH
LaRoche
2B
Kendrick
RF
Garcia
C
Grandal
SS
Ramirez
CF
Ethier
3B
Beckham
3B
Uribe
C
Flowers
DH
Pederson
2B
Sanchez
RF
Heisey

Yasiel Puig is notably absent from the lineup and the reserve list (which makes this a two game trend). As of this writing, no reason for his omission has been given. It’s probably just a day off.

Don’t read too much into the breakdown between starters and reserves, since it doesn’t mean much at this point. For example, Andre Ethier starting in center and Joc Pederson starting at DH probably doesn’t mean much. At some point we should probably face the possibility of the Dodgers holding Pederson down for a few weeks to gain an extra year of team control, but this one game doesn’t reveal any potential thinking along those lines.

It’s also exciting to see some new faces get their first chances for the Dodgers, like Austin Barnes catching some innings, Enrique Hernandez getting a shot at short (whether he can effectively play there in a utility role is still an open question) and Chris Heisey flashing plus defense in the outfield. Alex Guerrero playing third is interesting, as the Dodgers try to find him a role. Honestly, they should probably just trade him and DFA him if they can’t find a match. A few prospects will get some screen time, too! Spring Training always seems to drag on forever, but at this point seeing most of the Dodgers’ positional depth chart in action for a few days is pretty fun.

Speaking of lineups, get used to Jimmy Rollins leading off. Don Mattingly stated that he will “probably” lead off for the rest of the season. Ignoring the prematurity of the statement, the decision is a bit disappointing. Steamer and ZiPS both project Rollins to have a low .305 OBP (remember, most of his value comes from defense). It seems like Joc Pederson should lead off against right-handed pitchers and Howie Kendrick should lead off against lefties, or some arrangement like that. Some of Pederson’s power would be “wasted,” but to me that’s preferable to making more outs at the top of the lineup. Still, batting orders aren’t all that important (who is actually in the lineup is much more important), so I’ll get over it.

Baseball!

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.