Padres @ Dodgers April 6, 2017: Brandon McCarthy’s season debut

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers conclude their season-opening 4-game series against the Padres on Thursday afternoon in LA before heading to Colorado for the Rockies’ home opener.

Padres
Dodgers
12:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
LF
Jankowski
LF
Toles
CF
Margot
SS
Seager
1B
Myers
3B
Forsythe
2B
Solarte
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Schimpf
CF
Pederson
RF
Renfroe
2B
Utley
C
Sanchez RF Puig
SS
Aybar
C
Barnes
P
Weaver (R)
P
McCarthy (R)

After a 3-1 win behind Rich Hill and Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers are employing a bit of different lineup on getaway day. Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner are getting the day off, meaning there’s a subsequent lineup shuffle. Chase Utley gets his first start of the season, which moves Logan Forsythe over to third base (where he’s plenty capable, defensively). Austin Barnes also draws his first start of the season. It’s a bit odd not to see Grandal in the lineup against a righty, but having a quality backup in Barnes takes the sting away.

Brandon McCarthy, after a so-so spring, is making his 2017 debut. While he has always been talented, he hasn’t really put it all together for a consistent period of time — especially in LA. But he’s now almost two years removed from Tommy John surgery and over his “yips” from last season. If he does put it all together, he’s a legitimate mid-rotation starter. I’m not saying to expect that, but the talent is there.

The Padres are trotting out Jered Weaver (not Jeff) for his first MLB start not with the Angels. Because SD’s rotation is not great, Weaver is expected to be a bit of an innings-eater for the Friars. If the Dodgers struggle against his low-to-mid-80s heat today, well, that won’t be great.

——

It’s good to see folks (not Shaikin) are freaking out about the eight shutout innings from Clayton Richard the other night. Let’s see if this “Dodgers can’t hit lefties” thing is still a thing in a 4-6 weeks.

Yessssss. Elevate and celebrate, Yasiel.

Pedro Guerrero is superhuman. Keep him in your thoughts.

I feel like I’ve written so much about the Dodgers’ handling of Julio Urias that I can’t muster the strength to really care about this right now.

I once ranked Julian Leon in my Top 10 after a breakout season. Unfortunately, that came in the hitters’ paradise known as the Pioneer League. Zach Hartman is a 25-year-old who hasn’t made it out of A-ball, but he has some solid numbers in his career — 2.78 ERA, 25.4 K%, 6.7 BB%. The right-handed reliever was signed as an undrafted free agent out of UNLV.

I looked at the minor-league affiliate rosters earlier because the Minor League Baseball season begins today. Here are the opening day starting pitchers for each squad:

Oklahoma City: RHP Trevor Oaks
Tulsa: RHP Scott Barlow
Rancho Cucamonga: LHP Caleb Ferguson
Great Lakes: LHP Leonardo Crawford

Great Lakes’ game has already been postponed until tomorrow (a doubleheader). That’s what happens when you try to play baseball in the Upper Midwest in April. And I’ll be in attendance for the Quakes’ season-opener in Stockton … provided the rain holds off long enough (it should).

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.