Josh Beckett, Dodgers to square off against Chicago Cubs.

MESA, Ariz. — Josh Beckett is expected to throw roughly four innings and 65 pitches today against the Chicago Cubs, in what’s expected to be a showcase of his fastball and changeup.

Beckett has been dealing with a finger blister for some time that affects him more when he throws curveballs. There’s a decent chance Beckett would have devoted today to curveballs if he were at full health; he focused his first spring start on the changeup and his second on the fastball.

Yasiel Puig, has been batting leadoff quite a bit in the Cactus League season. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly touted Puig’s virtues at the leadoff slot again this morning, saying “the thought process is who do you want to get the extra at-bat. He hasn’t shown that he can drive in runs yet and we’ve got guys who can do that.” Today might be an audition of sorts for Puig in the number-three slot. Dee Gordon is batting leadoff.

Jose Dominguez, Javy Guerra, Paco Rodriguez, Chris Withrow and Jamey Wright all made the trip to Cubs Park.

Minor league position players suiting up today include IF Brendan Harris (#35), C Chris O’Brien (#70), RHP Steve Edlefsen (#83), IF Darnell Sweeney (#84), RHP Justin Souza (#87), OF Jon Garcia (#88), OF Trayvon Robinson (#89), IF Corey Seager (#90), C Jose Capellan (#91), IF O’Koyea Dickson(#95), IF Jamie Romak (#96), RHP Romulo Sanchez (#97).

Outfielders Joc Pederson and Mike Baxter, infielder Alex Guerrero and catcher Drew Butera are also on the travel roster.

Here are the starting lineups for both teams for the 1 p.m. game:


Dee Gordon 2B
Carl Crawford LF
Yasiel Puig RF
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Andre Ethier CF
Justin Turner 3B
A.J. Ellis C
Miguel Rojas SS
Josh Beckett RHP


Emilio Bonifacio CF
Ryan Sweeney DH
Nate Schierholtz RF
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Justin Ruggiano LF
Luis Valbuena 3B
Donnie Murphy SS
George Kottaras C
Darwin Barney 2B

Kyle Hendricks RHP

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This entry was posted in JP on the Dodgers, Spring Training by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.