By Jon Weisman
As the Dodgers returned home from their wanderings in the desert, they took another step toward finalizing their Opening Day roster — with other steps remaining to go before Saturday morning deadline.
Dodger manager Dave Roberts said that Alex Guerrero remains at Camelback Ranch and will begin the season on the disabled list
“He had an MRI that showed minimal damage, but now we at least understand the discomfort and the pain he’s having in his knee,” Roberts said. “I really don’t know what the specifics were — I talked to the training staff, and whatever verbiage they used, it kind of validated some of the pain he’s been having.”
In other developments:
- Kiké Hernandez, who played most of March at shortstop, is getting a start in center field tonight, but Joc Pederson will start the next two nights in center plus Opening Day. “It’s not going to be a straight platoon with Kiké (in center field),” Roberts said, “but when there’s a left-hander throwing, Kiké will be in the lineup, whether it’s at center field, short or … second base. I do like Joc’s defense in center field, and if it’s a matchup I don’t love, I don’t see him at the top of the order against that left-hander, but his value in center field is an advantage.”
- Yasmani Grandal caught five innings, homered and threw out a baserunner in a minor-league game in Arizona today, Roberts said, adding that the All-Star catcher is scheduled to rejoin the Dodgers in Anaheim on Saturday. A.J. Ellis is starting Opening Day, with Grandal set to go Tuesday.
- Now “100 percent,” according to Roberts, Corey Seager is back in the lineup for the first time since March 11, and he’s scheduled to start all three Freeway Series games, then rest on Sunday’s day off before Opening Day.
- Roberts on Carl Crawford: “I think he’s in a pretty good spot right now with his body. … He’s had a lot of mileage on that body. He’s logged a lot of Major League games, and the way he’s plays the game and has played the game for years, I think he understands his role on the team as far as he’s not a guy who’s going to play 140 games for us. It’s my job to kind of monitor his health. As far as his head, he’s told me numerous times he’ll do whatever I ask of him, and that’s always good to hear from a veteran player. I see him playing against right-handed pitching, and when he’s not playing, getting ready to get a big hit off the bench.”
- The Dodgers are still discussing whether or not to keep one or two left-handers in their bullpen.
- After Scott Kazmir starts against Andrew Heaney tonight, it will be Kenta Maeda vs. Hector Santiago on Friday and Alex Wood vs. Nick Tropeano on Saturday.