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.
Andre Ethier was used primarily off the bench in the second half of 2014. (Getty Images)
GLENDALE, Ariz. — When the Dodgers acquired catcher Yasmani Grandal at the Winter Meetings in December, president Andrew Friedman called A.J. Ellis to discuss the move before word of the trade got to the media. Friedman didn’t have to make the call. Ellis, who’s been the starting catcher here the last three years, appreciated the courtesy.
Ethier has played 1,275 games in a Dodgers uniform the past nine seasons. The Dodgers owe him at least another $56 million guaranteed over the next three years. Yet Ethier enters camp embroiled in a competition for the starting center fielder’s job with top prospect Joc Pederson and Chris Heisey, whom the Dodgers acquired this winter.
Ethier, who turns 33 in April, still believes he has an opportunity to be an everyday player here this season.