Hey, baseball is back. It seems like just yesterday that the Dodgers closed out the Rays in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series to win the championship. Man, that was a good night.
|12:05 p.m.||Mesa, Ariz.|
|RF Betts||CF Laurenao|
|SS Seager||SS Andrus|
|C Barnes||3B Pinder|
|LF Pollock||LF Canha|
|1B Beaty||DH Moreland|
|3B Rios||C Allen|
|DH Davidson||RF Reed|
|2B McKinstry||1B Brown|
|CF Peters||2B Kemp|
|P Kickham (L)||P Jeffries (R)|
The Dodgers begin their spring campaign in Mesa, Ariz., to take on the reigning AL West champion Oakland Athletics, who are going to look a bit different this season. The Dodgers, not so much.
The top two in the Dodgers’ lineup figure to be the top two for the majority of the season. Unless there are massive struggles, there’s no reason Mookie Betts and Corey Seager shouldn’t be hitting 1-2 in this lineup. AJ Pollock is the only other true regular who will see the field today. Austin Barnes figures to get plenty of work this season, but I wouldn’t call him a “regular.”
Bench options Matt Beaty, Zach McKinstry and Edwin Rios should get a chance to show what they can do this spring. DJ Peters is on the 40-man roster and Matt Davidson is a non-roster invitee. Speaking of NRIs, Mike Kickham will start the game, followed by Edwin Uceta, Dennis Santana, Garrett Cleavinger and Michael Grove.
On the Athletics’ side, you may not have heard, but they did trade for Elvis Andrus (and sent Khris Davis to Texas). They opted not to truly try to re-sign Marcus Semien, so Andrus was their backup plan at shortstop. Ramon Laureano and Mark Canha are firmly entrenched as everyday starters, while Mitch Moreland and Chad Pinder (a guy I really like) figure to get plenty of plate appearances for Oakland in 2021.
Here are some notes from the media-type folks ahead of the first Spring Training game.
Give Juan a follow, if you haven’t already. He’s taking over for the recently retired Ken Gurnick over at Dodgers.com. The options he lists as guys to watch are pretty good, including Corey Knebel, Gavin Lux and Sheldon Neuse.
Once Will Smith really gains the trust of the pitching staff, the sky’s the limit for him.
This is the first time since 1989 the Dodgers are beginning the season defending the World Series championship. It’s a different feel, but it feels good.