The Dodgers return home today with Vin Scully Avenue renamed in time for this afternoon’s opening day game against the Dbacks. The Dodgers had a 4-3 road trip, which seems like a decent trip except for the fact that they were embarrassed in San Francisco and the pitching staff is awful. The Dodgers blew leads in all three losses to the Giants while giving up about a hundred runs.
With the Dodgers now finally home, they have decided to option Micah Johnson back to triple-A to make room on the roster for second baseman Howie Kendrick. Yasmani Grandal is expected to return soon as well, but no corresponding move has been announced for him yet. It looks like Van Slyke will be placed on the disabled list, which would clear roster room for Grandal, who is expected to catch tomorrow.
Roberts said Van Slyke on DL. Grandal active.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) April 12, 2016
Dodgers Lineup vs. Arizona
Game time – 1:10 PM TV – SNLA- MLBN
Kendrick is ready however, and is in the starting lineup today. The lineup looks completely different that it did during the opening road trip, which is very disappointing. One of the things I was beginning to love about first-year manager Dave Roberts was that he was using a set lineup. Every day was essentially the same lineup. None of the players were being shuffled in and out of the lineup like they were last year. Guys were able to get into grooves and pick-up a set routine. As a result the Dodger offense has been terrific this season. You know the saying, If it’s not broke don’t fix it? Now it seems we might be back to the same old lineup shuffling and platooning. At least I hope not.
Kike Hernandez is playing in left field this afternoon and batting lead-off. Roberts is probably playing him in left field because the Dodgers have no left fielders available. Carl Crawford is useless, and Scott Van Slyke hurt his back in San Francisco. The Dodgers are trying to figure out a way to keep catcher Austin Barnes on the roster, which might mean someone like Trayce Thompson gets optioned. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. If you remember Don Mattingly did something similar at one point too. Why do the Dodgers need three catchers on the roster, when they are running out of healthy outfielders?
Speaking of Thompson, he is batting sixth and playing in center field. Joc Pederson is not playing. Kendrick is batting fifth, and Yasiel Puig is batting second. Corey Seager is buried in the seventh spot for some reason. Do you remember when Mattingly used to use the all loser righty lineups against left handed starters? It appears that Roberts is employing the same strategy here. It probably means that Andrew Friedman is ordering him to do it.
The Dbacks come into town having lost five of their first seven games. They’ll give the ball to left hander Patrick Corbin to open the season at Dodger Stadium. Corbin pitched just 85 innings (6-5 3.60) last year because he was still recovering from injury, Corbin had Tommy John surgery back in 2014, and has pitched very little since. Before then he was considered one of the best young pitchers in baseball. The 26-year old has a four pitch arsenal which includes a fastball, changeup, slider, and knuckle-curve.
Corbin is 3-4 with a 4.09 career ERA against the Dodgers in nine starts. He has made 4 starts at Dodger Stadium and is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA. The Dodgers haven’t done a lot against Corbin. The boys in blue are batting .271 (19 for 71) with two home runs. Justin Turner is 5 for 10 against him. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .308 (4 for 13) with a home run.
Dodgers vs. Corbin
|Scott Van Slyke||13||13||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.154||.154||.154||.308||0||0||0||0||0|
The Dodgers will counter with Japanese import Kenta Maeda. He went six scoreless innings against the Padres last week and hit a home run in his Major League debut. He probably won’t hit a home run this time. You never know though.
First pitch is at 1:10 PM. Let the good times roll! The Dodgers are back at home! Who’s up for some snake soup?