Designated hitter eases Dodger outfield jam
Oh, the weather outside might be frightful, and interleague play isn’t always delightful, but here are a couple of reasons to look forward to the Dodgers’ trip to Minnesota.
For one thing, the Dodgers put their AL misery behind them last year, going 12-8, including a 5-5 mark on the road.
For another, the designated hitter allows the Dodgers, if they so choose, to put aside the “Who’s playing in the outfield?” questions for a few days.
Los Angeles is scheduled to face three consecutive right-handers in Kyle Gibson, Mike Pelfrey and recent old friend Ricky Nolasco, who is off to a slow start with a 6.67 ERA in five games, with 52 baserunners against 13 strikeouts.
So expect Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to all receive considerable playing time, with Scott Van Slyke a power bat off the bench to pounce on any left-handed relievers.
As a team, the Dodgers have a .769 OPS against righties in 2014, compared with .592 against lefties.
Scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers are Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Josh Beckett. The Dodgers announced that Clayton Kershaw will next pitch a rehab game Wednesday for Double-A Chattanooga against Tennessee.