Five Dodgers will participate in the international event, which kicks off on March 2.
Catching up on Thursday's Dodgers news from Camelback Ranch:
- The final rosters for the World Baseball Classic were announced on Thursday, and five Dodgers will participate: Ronald Belisario (Venezuela), Luis Cruz and Adrian Gonzalez (Mexico), Nick Punto (Italy), and Hanley Ramirez (Dominican Republic).
- The Italian team worked out at Camelabck Ranch on Thursday, and will continue to do so through through Mar. 5, using the visiting clubhouse. After that date, Team Mexico will begin training at Camelback Ranch.
- Manager Don Mattingly said Cruz, Gonzalez, and Ramirez would play more than usual for starters this early in spring, as each could miss up to three weeks while away for the international competition. Mattingly said he plans to get each three at-bats from the get go and might manipulate the lineup during spring games to get those three players higher in the order.
- Three Dodgers that were originally scheduled to participate - Peter Moylan (Australia), Paco Rodriguez (Spain), and Alfredo Amezaga (Mexico) - decided against participating in the WBC so they could focus on trying to make the Dodgers' roster. Ken Gurnick at MLB.com caught up with all three players.
- The Dodgers open Cactus League play over the weekend with a pair of games against the White Sox. Clayton Kershaw will start the spring opener for the Dodgers on Saturday, and will be opposed on the mound by Dylan Axelrod. Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu will pitch on Sunday for the Dodgers, while Erik Johnson starts for Chicago, per Scott Merkin of MLB.com. The White Sox don't plan on using their starters pitchers until March 1, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago.
- Mattingly said the Dodgers pitchers on the starting program would throw two innings ("or x number of pitches," Mattingly said) in most cases in their first outing, though in a few cases, like Ryu on Saturday, would pitch just one inning.
- Tentatively slated to pitch for the Dodgers are Chad Billingsley followed by Chris Capuano on Monday against the Cubs at home; Josh Beckett followed by Matt Magill on Tuesday against the Giants at home; and Ted Lilly and Aaron Harang against the Cubs on Wednesday in Mesa.
- Chris Withrow, who has been sidelined with a back injury, is said to be feeling better, but is still not ready yet to return to the mound. "It sounds like he's going to be in rehab mode for a few days," said Mattingly.
- Fernando Valenzuela, Maury Wills, Ron Cey, Steve Yeager, and Tim Leary will be among ex-Dodgers signing autographs on Saturday and Sunday at Camelback Ranch as part of inaugural weekend. They will be among the former Dodgers and White Sox honored before Saturday afternoon's opening game at 12:05 p.m. PT.