Spring Training Preview: Clayton Kershaw Starts Cactus League Finale

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Spring Training has had its ups and downs for the Los Angeles Dodgers — with Joc Pederson’s emergence and the new-look defense being among the highlights. However, injuries have dominated headlines in recent weeks and Dodgers will begin the season with a depleted bullpen and starting rotation.

On Wednesday, the Dodgers travel to Surprise, Ariz., for their Cactus League finale to face the Kansas City Royals. Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner and MVP Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for his final tuneup before Opening Day.

Kershaw, who comes in with a 3-0 record and a 1.86 ERA in five starts this spring, has fared much better this year than he did last Spring Training, when he had a 9.20 ERA. The Royals counter with Yordano Ventura, a 23-year-old right-hander who was stellar in last year’s World Series — albeit a loss.

Yordano is 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA in four starts this spring. Aside from Kershaw, the Dodgers lineup doesn’t have any projected starters as players returned to Los Angeles Tuesday.

Utility men Darwin Barney and Kiké Hernandez are both starting and looking to leave a lasting impression on manager Don Mattingly. Same holds true for Alex Guerrero, who starts at third base; though he appears to have more of an inside track on a roster spot than Barney and Hernandez.

Dodgers Lineup:

2B: Darwin Barney

C: A.J. Ellis

3B: Alex Guerrero

1B: Scott Van Slyke

RF: Chris Heisey

CF: Kiké Hernandez

SS: Corey Seager

LF: Darnell Sweeney

DH: Kyle Jensen

P: Clayton Kershaw

Royals Lineup:

CS: Jarrod Dyson

RF: Alex Rios

2B: Omar Infante

DH: Kendrys Morales

LF: Paulo Orlando

3B: Christian Colon

1B: Whit Merrifield

SS: Ryan Jackson

C: Erik Kratz

P: Yordano Ventura


Dodgers Utility Man Justin Turner

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