GLENDALE, Ariz. — The end is near.
If Twitter’s brief, apocalyptic mid-morning shutdown (for “maintenance,” we were told) didn’t hint at the end of life as we know it, the Dodgers’ schedule does — at least for those of us who have been with the team in Arizona the better part of a month.
There are six days and seven games left on the schedule beginning with today’s tilt against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise, Ariz. There’s no Andre Ethier, no Hanley Ramirez and no Dee Gordon or Alex Guerrero in the Dodgers’ lineup. Otherwise, it has a very start-to-the-regular-season kind of look.
“We want to play Dre (to play) probably the last five,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Same with Hanley.”
Yasiel Puig is in right field and Scott Van Slyke in center, a late switch. “We just wanted to see Slyke in center as much as anything,” Mattingly said, dropping the “Van” that makes for so many good last-name puns. “It seems like the right day.”
In one of those great only-in-spring training curiosities, the Dodgers will not use a designated hitter. The Royals will.
Dan Haren is making what ought to be his final Cactus League start. More on him later.
Here are the full lineups for both teams:
Dan Haren RHP
Jason Vargas LHP