Dee Gordon will start at shortstop today against the Cincinnati Reds, and Carl Crawford will make his debut in left field tomorrow against the Chicago White Sox, as the Dodgers explore options for their Opening Day lineup.
Gordon has been playing shortstop plenty this spring and hasn’t made an error in the field, but this is his first look at the position since Hanley Ramirez was diagnosed with torn ligaments in his right thumb. Ramirez is expected to miss eight weeks following surgery today, and the Dodgers will look at both Gordon and Cruz — who started at shortstop in Thursday’s exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs — in the meantime.
Crawford is leading off against the Reds, and Gordon is batting second, in a game that’s scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
For Crawford, it’s only his fourth Cactus League game and all have come as the designated hitter. That will change tomorrow when the Dodgers play the Chicago White Sox at 7 p.m. at Camelback Ranch.
Manager Don Mattingly said that Crawford will make his debut in left field, less than seven months after the veteran outfielder had Tommy John surgery on his left (throwing) elbow. Crawford has made steady progress in his rehab and has been throwing all week, but this will be his first test in a live game.
Opening Day is 10 days from now. If Crawford can play the field it will give Mattingly his preferred option in left field and in the leadoff slot.