Spring Training Preview: Clayton Kershaw Makes 2015 Debut

Clayton Kershaw

The Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers met Wednesday afternoon at Camelback Ranch for their first game of Spring Training. As co-tenants at the Glendale, Ariz., complex, the Dodgers were the designated home team.

When they meet Thursday, the White Sox will be coming off a 6-4 win and have the honor of being considered the home team. With Erik Bedard getting the nod on Wednesday, Clayton Kershaw takes the mound in the rematch.

While Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has been opposed to committing to A.J. Ellis as Kershaw’s personal catcher, the duo will work together in the Dodgers’ second spring game. There’s a reasonable explanation, however as Mattingly is setting his lineup with an eye on Friday’s split-squad games.

The start marks Kershaw’s first time on the mound for a game since the disappointing Game 4 loss in the National League Division Series. Should the reigning NL MVP and Cy Young Award winner pick up a win, it would be his first of Spring Training since 2013 — he went 0-3 with a 9.20 ERA in four starts last spring.

Over his career, Kershaw is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA against the White Sox. He faced them most recently last season and turned in an eight-inning effort while allowing two runs on four hits in a win.

The Dodgers will face a left-handed starter for the second day in a row as the White Sox send John Danks to the bump. Danks is coming off an 11-1 season with a 4.74 ERA in 32 starts. Like Kershaw, Danks has faced his Thursday opponent three times in his career.

Danks earned a win last season against the Dodgers and is 2-1 with a 1.77 ERA against the Boys in Blue over his career. Despite a left-hander being on the mound, Joc Pederson bats leadoff for the Dodgers. Pederson hit eighth in Wednesday’s lineup as the designated hitter and went 2-for-2 with a double.

Returning to the Dodger lineup is Yasiel Puig, who makes his spring debut.

Dodgers Lineup:

CF: Joc Pederson

SS: Darwin Barney

RF: Yasiel Puig

1B: Scott Van Slyke

3B: Justin Turner

C: A.J. Ellis

2B: Kiké Hernandez

DH: Chris Heisey

LF: Matt Carson

White Sox Lineup:

2B: Micah Johnson

CF: Emilio Bonifacio

1B: Jose Abreu

LF: Melky Cabrera

SS: Alexei Ramirez

3B: Connor Gillaspie

C: Geovany Soto

DH: Michael Taylor

RF: Trayce Thompson


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