Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw to start Cactus League opener

Clayton Kershaw will throw one inning in Saturday’s Cactus League opener for the Dodgers, Manager Dave Roberts said on Thursday morning.The team has lined up the rotation so Rich Hill will start Sunday and Kenta Maeda will start Monday. That was the expected...

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw to start Cactus League opener

Clayton Kershaw will throw one inning in Saturday’s Cactus League opener for the Dodgers, Manager Dave Roberts said on Thursday morning.

The team has lined up the rotation so Rich Hill will start Sunday and Kenta Maeda will start Monday. That was the expected outlook heading into camp. The final two spots in the rotation are a competition between seven pitchers.

The abbreviated outing for Kershaw is a result of the World Baseball Classic, which has elongated spring training.

The position players will receive two at-bats on Saturday, Roberts said.

WHO’S ON FIRST?

With Adrian Gonzalez resting his sore right elbow, the Dodgers will have some at-bats to distribute at first base for the next two weeks. The logical backup is Scott Van Slyke, but because he has minor-league options, he may not make the opening day roster.

So who else can play first base?

Roberts shot down a few suggestions on Thursday.

Franklin Gutierrez?

“I don’t know how familiar Franklin is, at all, with the infield,” Roberts said. “That’s not an easy transition, necessarily. And I haven’t had that conversation with Franklin.”

Yasmani Grandal?

“I don’t see Yasmani over there,” Roberts said.

Justin Turner?

“We’d prefer him at third base,” Roberts said. “But JT is a baseball player. Last year, we had conversations. He was open to anything. As of today, we haven’t talked about it. As we move forward, we’ll see how things play out.”

The Dodgers will give Chase Utley some time at first base this spring. Logan Forsythe has played the position in the past, as well.

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