Dodgers Spring Training 2012, Day 7 Notes: Batting Order, Starting Rotation

Catchers won't be the only ones working out on Field 1 at Camelback Ranch beginning on Tuesday.

The first day of position players reporting to Dodgers camp at Camelback Ranch was a rather light day all around. All 62 players in big league camp have reported, and the only one not here is Juan Uribe, who is expected out for a few days as he deals with a legal matter in San Francisco. Here are the notes from the final day before full squad workouts begin:

  • Don Mattingly talked briefly about starting lineups again, specifically where Andre Ethier would hit. Mattingly said Ethier could hit anywhere from fourth, fifth, sixth, or even second, though it is more likely if he would hit fifth or sixth it would be against left-handed pitching. The most telling quote was Mattingly saying, "I want Dre and Matt together as much as possible." Since Kemp is set in stone as the number three hitter, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out Ethier will most likely be hitting cleanup on most days.
  • I asked catcher A.J. Ellis whether or not he could hit second in the lineup, and he joked, "I could be at the top, I could steal some bags." But Ellis then noted he isn't really concerned with where he hits in the batting order. "One of the last things on my mind right now is batting order. I just want to see my name somewhere in the lineup," Ellis said. "My value to the team is getting on base and helping to turn the lineup over, so hopefully guys like Matt [Kemp] and Andre [Ethier] can get as many at-bats as they can get."
  • Clayton Kershaw will make his Cactus League debut on March 9 in Surprise against the Texas Rangers, and will also pitch two innings in a simulated game at Camelback Ranch on March 4, the day before spring games begin. The Dodgers tried to arrange for a B game on March 4 against the Chicago White Sox but were unable to do so.
  • The rotation order after Kershaw still has not been revealed, though we might find that news on Tuesday. Mattingly said he wanted to make sure to talk to the pitchers involved before telling us who will start on Monday, March 5 against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch.
  • Both Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti talked about Matt Kemp's leadership, and I wrote a little bit about that at SB Nation Los Angeles. "Matt sets the tone. When he's playing hard, busting his butt, getting down the line, everybody else has no excuse not to work as hard," Mattingly said.
  • Colletti also mentioned that he is still hopeful he can sign Ethier to a long-term contract extension.
  • Dodgers prospect Alex Castellanos, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals last July 31 for shortstop Rafael Furcal, said he had never heard of the nickname 'Castle' for him but that he didn't mind it.
  • Colletti confirmed that outfielder Trent Oeltjen is out of options.
  • There are seven ownership groups still alive in the bidding for the Dodgers. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times and Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles have more.
  • Ken Gurnick of MLB.com outlines the 11 non-roster pitchers vying for a spot on the Dodgers' pitching staff this spring.
  • If you haven't already read it, be sure to check out Jackson's profile of Todd Coffey from this weekend.
  • John Sickels of Minor League Ball released his top 120 prospects on Friday, and three Dodgers made the list: No. 75 Zach Lee, No. 87 Nathan Eovaldi, and No. 106 Allen Webster.
  • The Dodgers will hold their annual open tryout at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. MST. Potential prospects can call (323) 224-1512 for more information. Last year, the Dodgers signed Randy Keisler from their open tryout, and he went 7-7 with a 4.67 ERA in 23 games, including 19 starts, for Triple A Albuquerque.
  • This is a great photo of Dee Gordon, Davey Lopes, and Maury Wills posing in Dodgers uniforms at Phoenix Raceway.
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