Dodgers @ Cleveland June 15, 2017: Earliest game of season

The Dodgers are going for the series sweep against the defending American League champions in Cleveland this morning. This is the earliest start time the Dodgers will have all season.

Dodgers
Cleveland
9:10 a.m.
Cleveland
LF
Taylor
SS
Lindor
SS
Seager
LF
Robertson
DH
Turner
3B
Ramirez
1B
Bellinger
DH
Encarnacion
2B
Hernandez
1B
Santana
C
Barnes
RF
Jackson
3B
Forsythe C Perez
CF
Pederson
CF
Zimmer
RF
 Puig
2B
 Gonzalez
P
Hill (L)
P
Tomlin (R)

The offense has shown up in the first two games and are facing a pitcher in Josh Tomlin who is struggling. He’s not walking any hitters (four in 66 innings), but he’s getting hit hard (.345 BABIP, 1.23 HR/9) and is vulnerable. His opponent, Rich Hill, is walking people and getting hit hard, too. He’ll need to be on his game facing a potent Cleveland lineup.

Yasmani Grandal is getting the day off — not uncommon for a day game after a night game. Also, he’s struggling this month, hitting just .175/.195/.275 with a 23 wRC+ and an ugly 2.4 BB%/36.6 K%. More Austin Barnes may not be such a bad thing. Justin Turner is DH’ing for a second day in a row, and that’s just fine. Anytime you can get Turner a day off (or even a defacto day off) is a good thing. Aside from Chris Taylor in left field (because the jury is still out on him as an outfielder), this might be the best defensive lineup the Dodgers have employed all season.

The weather should hold out to get this one in. There are scattered thunderstorms in the forecast, but it seems the Dodgers and Cleveland will finish this game, as this is LA’s only trip to the state of Ohio this season (Reds are next).

Here’s some news…

When the news about Julio Urias being sent to LA to visit with #DrNealElAttrache broke yesterday, it was disheartening. But this result is about the best-case scenario. It still sucks, but it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been. Brock Stewart was shut down for a similar reason (shoulder tendinitis), so it wouldn’t be surprising if Urias misses a month or so of action. The hope is for him to miss a week or two, but there’s no reason to rush him back from this.

More of the same for Adrian Gonzalez. Please, take all the time you need. That may sound disingenuous (it kinda is), but having him come back before he’s as close to 100 percent as possible doesn’t do anyone any good. If he’s going to be a valuable and productive player, he needs to be as healthy as possible.

——

Provided the game gets over at a reasonable time, I’ll have a draft post recapping Rounds 11-25 this afternoon. I know all of you are waiting with bated breath for it.

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 does contracts and depth charts for FanGraphs and 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 one-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, California, and has yet to be shot.