Giants @ Dodgers April 28, 2015: The Opening Day Outfield Is Out And It Doesn’t Matter

So Yasiel Puig is a star, and he’s on the disabled list. Joc Pederson is a budding star, and he’s on the bench tonight. Carl Crawford was far more valuable in 2014 than anyone seems to care to admit, and now he’s on the disabled list with an oblique injury. That’s the Opening Day outfield; that’s the owner of 42 of this year’s 57 outfield starts. None are playing tonight.

Giants
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles, Ca.
LF
Aoki
SS
Rollins
2B
Duffy
CF
Hernandez
CF
Pagan
1B
Turner
C
Posey
2B
Kendrick
RF
Maxwell
RF
Van Slyke
1B
Belt
LF
Guerrero
3B
McGehee
3B
Uribe
SS
Arias
C
Ellis
P
Bumgarner (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

For a lot of teams, that would be outright disaster. Could you imagine the Marlins outfield without Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich, even if just for a night? The Pirates without Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, and Gregory Polanco? It’d be the end of the world. But for the Dodgers, it’s, “well, guess we can get Scott Van Slyke a start, and finally try Alex Guerrero in left field, and remember how much we liked Enrique Hernandez? Let’s call him up to replace Crawford and get him a start in center.” All winter long, we talked about depth. This is depth. I mean, this is depth even without considering that Andre Ethier isn’t playing tonight. It’s great. It’s insane. It’s wonderful.

While the team can get by, unfortunately the news isn’t good for Crawford, who suffered what’s called a “bad tear” of his left oblique, likely sidelining him for at least three or four weeks. Though he was off to a slow start, it’s important to remember that he hit .300/.339/.429 (119 wRC+) last year, which is outstanding, though it never seems that fans have quite warmed up to him. It may open up some playing time; it’s still a loss.

Anyway, Clayton Kershaw against Madison Bumgarner tonight is a pretty marquee matchup, and so Don Mattingly has loaded his lineup with righty hitters, giving Justin Turner a start at first in place of Adrian Gonzalez and sending Ethier out of the area code. (Probably.) If you want to complain that Hernandez is hitting second when Pederson can’t get out of eighth, go right ahead, but ultimately it doesn’t matter that much.

Also! At least there’s some positive injury news. Kenley Jansen threw a bullpen session, got up to 96, and is ready to go out on a rehab session, where he’ll need “six or seven innings” to be ready. Hyun-jin Ryu threw a bullpen — 25 pitches, all fastballs — and is in line for another. Not a moment too soon, really.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.