Andrew Toles didn’t merely make his first opening day roster Monday. He’ll get the Dodgers’ first plate appearance of the new season.
Toles is leading off against the San Diego Padres in the first game of the season for both teams.
“We like Andrew in the batter’s box against right-handed pitchers,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “To get at-bats in there, the speed element, and have Corey (Seager) behind him — also, just to have Logan (Forsythe) somewhere in the middle to break up Adrian (Gonzalez), Joc (Pederson) and Yasmani (Grandal), there’s a lot of similarities with those guys. To have a right-handed grinder-type bat in the middle, it also sandwiches Adrian around two right-handed bats. Strategically it could be a benefit for us.”
Here are the complete lineups for both teams:
Andrew Toles LF Manuel Margot CF
Corey Seager SS Wil Myers 1B
Justin Turner 3B Yangervis Solarte 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B Hunter Renfroe RF
Logan Forsythe 2B Ryan Schimpf 3B
Joc Pederson CF Austin Hedges C
Yasmani Grandal C Erick Aybar SS
Yasiel Puig RF Jhoulys Chacin P
Clayton Kershaw P Travis Jankowski LF
This is the first time that Puig has batted eighth since last June, and only the fifth time he’s done so in his career.
“Yasiel, we’re looking for him to be consistent,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “That quality needs to be consistent, versus left(-handed pitchers) and versus right. I really didn’t see that throughout the spring against right-handed pitching. With Andrew against a right-handed pitcher, I like that at-bat quality. I hope Yasiel makes it tough on me to hit him down there. If he does that, and he plays to what we all know he can and what he expects of himself, then it could change the construction of the lineup.”
Today’s opening day is historic for another reason: It’s Joe Davis’ home debut as the Dodgers’ play-by-play man. Colleague Tom Hoffarth spoke to Davis about that occasion.