Dodgers Spring Training: Mattingly Sets Rotation For Freeway Series
While the Los Angeles Dodgers’ time out at Camelback Ranch in Arizona is down to its final two days after Monday’s win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, there are still exhibition games to be played over the weekend.
Beginning Thursday, the Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will meet for a three-game Freeway Series to complete their respective exhibition schedules. Being that Clayton Kershaw will take the ball on Opening Day, there won’t be the opportunity to see him pitted against fellow reigning MVP Mike Trout.
Which Dodgers pitchers would take the mound was somewhat unknown until Monday morning, when manager Don Mattingly revealed his starters, via Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA:
Brandon McCarthy will pitch Friday and Brett Anderson on Saturday, against the Angels. It will be a bullpen game on Thursday. #Dodgers
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) March 30, 2015
The bullpen game figures to serve two purposes for the Dodgers — it could be another trial run in the event it’s a tactic they utilize in place of one of or both, Hyun-Jin Ryu regular-season starts. Or as a final test of sorts for the relievers who are still competing to make the Opening Day roster.
Brandon McCarthy has had mixed results throughout the spring, giving up 20 hits and 11 runs in 14.2 innings. However, the right-hander’s command has improved since the 2014 season. Eighty-five percent of his pitches this spring have been strikes, compared to 69 percent last season.
McCarthy is also pleased to have endured hot weather and lengthy periods of time between innings in his latest start, which be believes are beneficial to his preparation for the regular season.
Brett Anderson put together his best start of the spring on Monday as he threw six scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He continued to be a groundball machine and induced three double-plays in the Dodgers’ 4-2.
Anderson is now 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched across four starts; he also threw six innings in a Minor League game on the heels of a rough outing. For Anderson McCarthy, their final starts before the regular season will be on the shorter side as at this stage, it’s more about a final tuneup rather than getting accustomed to being stretched out in a game.
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