Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley could be third basemen for the Dodgers in 2016.

Justin Turner

Howie Kendrick, left, could provide depth at third base behind Justin Turner, right, for the Dodgers in 2016. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers’ decision to re-sign Howie Kendrick for two years and $20 million didn’t come as a surprise to Chase Utley. The front office acknowledged that possibility when it re-signed Utley to a one-year contract back in December.

Utley said all the right things Saturday about getting Kendrick back, even though it probably means less time for him at second base — his natural position.

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Brandon McCarthy isn’t rushing back from Tommy John surgery, but he isn’t taking his time either.

Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy signs a baseball for a fan at the Dodgers’ annual FanFest Saturday at Dodger Stadium. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy said Saturday that he hasn’t had any setbacks in his throwing program as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He recently began throwing lightly off a mound and is targeting a return late in the first half of the season.

“My ultimate goal is to make a start or two before the All-Star break,” McCarthy said. “If it doesn’t happen that’s fine, I’m mentally prepared for that. I want to use that as our foundation of ‘this is where I need to get to.’ ”

McCarthy, who turns 33 in July, isn’t thinking long-term.

“I’ve got two and a half years left here,” he said, referring to a contract that expires after the 2018 season. “I’m beholden to the Dodgers right now and that’s it. If I don’t play again after the Dodgers because I came back too soon here, then it was completely worth it. That’s been my thinking going into this: Let’s get back as soon as we can now, safely, and not sit around and wait for months afterwards and play it safe the way a younger guy would.”

Spring training will be a good gauge of his progress. McCarthy said he’ll be “right on the verge” of facing live hitters at the end of camp if he doesn’t have any setbacks between now and then.

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Why Vin Scully relented to having his name on a local street.

Vin Scully Avenue

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully smiles as he makes his way to the stage during the Dodgers’ fourth annual FanFest on Saturday. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Vin Scully explained why he finally ceded to the Los Angeles City Council’s motion to re-name a portion of Elysian Park Avenue in his honor this week.

“I thought, you know, I’ve loved it here so much,” Scully said Saturday at the Dodgers’ annual FanFest. “You can’t leave very much behind. I thought, to the people who come here often, it would be like a hello as well as a goodbye.”

Scully, 88, said he would like to call the Dodgers’ season-ending road trip to San Francisco, Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, but the rest of his road schedule is somewhat “up in the air.”

“I’d like to touch a couple bases, not beyond California though,” he said. “I would like to go to San Diego. I would like to go to Anaheim. A couple in San Francisco. That’ll be enough, I think.”

The Hall of Fame broadcaster is entering his 67th and final year with the Dodgers this season.

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Season in review about nothing: Justin Turner, ‘The Pitch.’

Justin Turner

Justin Turner established himself as the Dodgers’ everyday third baseman in 2015. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)

This is Part 51 of a series in which every member of the 2015 Dodgers has his season juxtaposed with an episode of the greatest sitcom of all-time. Don’t take it too seriously.

Justin Turner, IF

Key stats: .294/.370/.491, 16 home runs, 60 RBIs in 126 games

Seinfeld episode: “The Pitch” (Season 4, Episode 3)

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Clayton Kershaw blasts DH rule: ‘Baseball’s a two-sided game.’

Clayton Kershaw

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is a .153 hitter in 577 career plate appearances. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Count Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw among the fans of National League baseball.

Speaking at a team function at Los Angeles City Hall on Friday, Kershaw said he’s pleased with commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision to table discussion of bringing the designated hitter rule to the NL.

“It’s just a better game. It really is,” Kershaw said. “Baseball’s a two-sided game. You’ve got to play offense, you’ve got to play defense. I know there’s a lot of great hitters that DH, I’m not trying to take anything away from them, but they all started somewhere. They all played first base, all played a position. They all still could do it if they had to. That’s the truer fun of baseball.

“Selfishly, I love taking batting practice. Hitting in the game is fun, too. I would miss that part of it for sure.”

Here’s video of Kershaw speaking today about losing pitcher Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks and his off-season training:
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