Yasiel Puig returns to the Dodgers’ lineup Thursday; A.J. Ellis will catch Clayton Kershaw. Update.

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The lineup for Thursday’s game against the Chicago White Sox was posted in the Dodgers’ clubhouse after the morning workout:

Joc Pederson CF
Darwin Barney SS
Yasiel Puig RF
Scott Van Slyke 1B
Justin Turner 3B
A.J. Ellis C
Kiké Hernandez 2B
Chris Heisey DH
Matt Carson LF
(Clayton Kershaw P)

Additionally, the Dodgers will call up minor league outfielders James Baldwin, Joey Curletta and infielder Luis Mateo.

Update: Here is the White Sox lineup:

Micah Johnson 2B
Emilio Bonifacio CF
Jose Abreu 1B
Melky Cabrera LF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Geovany Soto C
Michael Taylor DH
Trayce Thompson RF

John Danks, LHP

Dodgers announce lineup for Cactus League opener.

The Dodgers’ lineup for tomorrow’s Cactus League opener was posted in their clubhouse Tuesday morning:

Jimmy Rollins, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, CF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Joc Pederson, DH
Chris Heisey, RF

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.

Dan Haren has a curious explanation for why he’s better late in games.

Dan Haren

Dan Haren allowed six hits and four runs Tuesday, all in the first four innings. (Getty Images)

Dan Haren has some unusual pitching splits this season, and an unconventional explanation to go with it.

Opponents were hitting .299 against Haren the first two times through the batting order prior to Tuesday night’s 4-1 loss. His performance against the Chicago White Sox was true to form. Chicago scored all its runs the first two times through the order against Haren, batting .294 until the lineup turned over again.

Haren only allowed one hit after that. The White Sox went 1-for-7 in the fifth and sixth innings against Haren. That was likewise true to form; opponents were hitting .222 against him the third time through the order prior to Tuesday.

So, what gives?

“The velocity is kind of up and down for me. I thrown it a little bit harder (recently), which might be a bad thing actually. As the game went along today I backed off a little bit and got a lot of ground balls. That’s something I’ve got to look at, what my ball is doing at what velocities because it might be better for me to back off.”

Haren agreed that he typically gets less movement the harder he throws.

“That’s what I’m going to be looking at. I’ve just got to figure it out. It’s been a few starts now where it’s kind of been the same story. I can’t keep going like this. Something’s got to change.”

Haren hasn’t won since May 12 against the Miami Marlins, a span of four starts. Wins and losses are famously fickle, but the 33-year-old veteran confessed it’s getting frustrating. Though he had a fairly consistent month of May, Haren has seen his ERA rise from 2.03 in April to 3.50 after Tuesday’s loss:

We’ll check back with Haren to see what he gleans from the next video session.