Major League Baseball Spring Training is coming to a close. Opening Day for the league is Sunday, April 3 with a World Series rematch between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals in Kansas City.
The Los Angeles Dodgers start their regular season in San Diego against the Padres with a three-game series. Then they travel to San Francisco to face the Giants for three games before coming back to Dodger Stadium for their home opener on April 12, a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. We will see the match-up most Dodgers fans have been waiting for: the return of Zack Greinke. If the fans are lucky they will see Greinke and Clayton Kershaw face off in that home opener.
Kershaw will be the Opening Day starting pitcher, according to new manager Dave Roberts. There will be some of the same players Dodgers fans love to see: Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, A.J. Ellis, Kiké Hernandez and Justin Turner, to name a few. But there will be a few new faces as well, like off-season acquisition Kenta Maeda, who came over from Japan to become a starter.
Some of the faces that will be missing on opening day include outfielder Andre Ether, who will be out until the summer with a right tibia fracture. he had been a lead-off batter and Dave roberts had spoken about him starting some regular season games at the top of the order.
As of this writing it is unknown if catcher Yasmani Grandal will make opening day. He has been out of the lineup recently due to a soreness in his forearm. Corey Seager has been out of the lineup due to a strained knee, but there is a good chance he will be in the lineup, at least before the home opener.
Where the Dodgers are really suffering is in the starting rotation. Brett Anderson just underwent back surgery. He is confident he will be back this season. Mike Bollinger, another starting pitcher, will be out as he recovers from an oblique muscle strain. Brandon McCarthy is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and isn’t expected back until June. Frankie Montas had rib surgery and will be out until June. Then there is Hyun-Jin Ryu. He isn’t expected back until mid-May.
One new face you will see in the lineup is Trayce Thompson. He has had an impressive spring, but wasn’t expected to make the cut. Until Andre Ethier was injured. Trayce is the brother of Golden State Warrior Klay Thompson so the first time he takes the field at Dodger Stadium could be a raucous introduction.
He was called up last season by the White Sox, but came to the Dodgers in the three-team trade between the Dodgers, White Sox and Cincinnati Reds that brought Thomspon, Montas and Micah Johnson to the Dodgers and sent Jimmy Rollins to Chicago. It is not certain if Johnson will make the roster for opening day. He plays second base primarily.
If you want to get a jump on the new season without traveling to Camelback Ranch in Glendale, AZ, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will play two games against the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium April 1-2.
Luck for the Los Angeles Post-Examiner and our readers, reporter Claudia Gestro has been in Arizona covering the Dodgers and several other teams in the Cactus League. She has filed several video reports and more are scheduled to be added to our YouTube channel. She said it’s been hot in Arizona, with daytime temperatures in the 90s.
Claudia contributed to this article and provided all the photos. Below are some of her videos from Spring Training.
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