J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the 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.
Erik Bedard is starting the game against the Chicago White Sox. Note that designated hitters are used during the early weeks of Cactus League play. National League teams will be able to use their pitchers as the season approaches and the list of position players in camp thins out.
Mattingly also told reporters that Jimmy Rollins will bat leadoff this year. Rollins has led off 1,459 games in his career, so the manager had a fairly easy call here. The onus is on Rollins to prove that he can handle the job for a full season at age 36.
You might have noticed that Yasiel Puig is not in the lineup. That means he’ll likely play the next two days — Thursday and Friday, in one of the Dodgers’ split-squad games. Mattingly prefers to give his “regulars” two days of work followed by one day off. Looks like Puig is getting his day off early.
And hey, he can’t be late to the first game of the season.