Why Howie Kendrick playing left field for the Dodgers at Coors Field matters.

Howie Kendrick

Howie Kendrick hadn’t played left field in a game since 2013 before this month. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

DENVER — The left field foul pole at Coors Field sits 347 feet down the line. Only Wrigley Field’s is farther from home plate among National League parks.

The outfield wall then just out at a steep angle to a power alley that sits 390 feet from home. It’s much bigger than right field here and bigger than almost any other left field in baseball. Here’s a nifty page for making park-to-park comparisons. Take a few minutes to check it out. I’ll wait right here.

The man responsible for patrolling left field today is Howie Kendrick, a second baseman by trade. Manager Dave Roberts has professed confidence in Kendrick every step of the way since Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke went on the disabled list, and Friday was no different.

“There’s no panic,” Roberts said. “He’s going out there and preparing. He’s played left field before in the big leagues. I trust the player. I expect him to make plays and be good out there.”

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Depleted depth chart gives Howie Kendrick his first start in left field.

Howie Kendrick

Howie Kendrick catches a shallow fly ball in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game, his first in left field since 2013. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

Howie Kendrick‘s second game of the season will take him a long way from the right side of the infield. He is the Dodgers’ starting left fielder for Tuesday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The last time Kendrick started a game in left field was Aug. 13, 2011 for the Angels.

“Hopefully,” Kendrick said after finishing Monday night’s game in left field, “it’ll help us win some ballgames.”

Kendrick has started 1,062 games at second base in his career, including Tuesday’s. This will be his 21st start in left.

The position has become a sore spot for the Dodgers. Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke are all on the disabled list. So is Alex Guerrero, who’s dabbled in left in the past. Trayce Thompson, Kiké Hernandez and Charlie Culberson are the others on the roster who have experience at the position, but manager Dave Roberts said he wanted Kendrick’s bat in the lineup against Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Rubby De La Rosa.
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Game 3: Kenta Maeda’s debut is a triumph of momentum, a pox upon the DH.

Kenta Maeda

Kenta Maeda’s major league debut featured six shutout innings and a historic home run. (Associated Press photo)

SAN DIEGO >> Kenta Maeda and the 2016 Dodgers are making this look easier than it is. Maeda hit a solo home run (video), and so did Yasiel Puig (video), in a 7-0 win over the Padres that gave birth to some rather impressive firsts. The box score is here.

Maeda was anything but boastful in his postgame comments.

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Game 1: Dodgers make Dave Roberts a convincing winner in his debut.

Opening Day

The Dodgers shut out the San Diego Padres 15-0 at Petco Park on Monday. (Scott Varley/Staff photographer)

Dave Roberts‘ energy apparently spoke louder than his words in the Dodgers’ season-opening 15-0 win over the Padres on Monday. The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.

Chase Utley took a rare turn in the leadoff spot and went 3-for-5, including a double off Tyson Ross to begin the game.

Two quotes that didn’t make either story are worth mentioning here:
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