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Today's Spotlight Falls On Matt Kemp

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"No, man, I'm telling you, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY4uxdAt4-M" target="new">Paul Anka's version of <em>Put Your Head On My Shoulder</em></a> is the best."
"No, man, I'm telling you, Paul Anka's version of Put Your Head On My Shoulder is the best."

As you listen to today's game in Goodyear against the Indians, here are two solid links for you to read:

On ESPN, Jerry Crasnick has a very thorough profile of Matt Kemp:

"You look at a guy who's 6-foot-4. He can run and he throws good, and he has power and he's hit for average," Mattingly said. "And he steals bags, too. You see all these pieces. But that 'potential' word is dangerous, because with guys like this, people will say whatever they do isn't good enough. I saw it with [Darryl Strawberry] in New York. It's tough for guys coming in with these kinds of labels."

Speaking of Kemp, he is the key player for the Dodgers in 2011, wrote Albert Lyu of FanGraphs in his Dodgers season preview:

The single most important X-factor that first-year manager Don Mattingly could use? A Matt Kemp revitalization, whose upside could be the difference between a third-place NL West team and a playoff contender.

The Dodgers should expect improvement from a year ago with new additions to the starting rotation. Still, a lot will have to go right for the offense if they want to offset the well below-average 7-8-9 hitting enough to hit well against NL pitching.

Lineups

Dodgers   Indians
SS Furcal CF Carrera
3B Blake SS A.Cabrera
RF Ethier C Santana
CF Kemp DH Hafner
1B Loney RF Kearns
2B Uribe 2B O.Cabrera   
DH Thames       
1B LaPorta
C Barajas LF Brown
LF Gwynn 3B Donald

 

Chad Billingsley makes his spring debut today for the Dodgers, and will be followed on the bump by Oscar Villarreal, Roman Colon, Jon Huber, Lance Cormier, and Wilkin De La Rosa.

Cleveland sends Carlos Carrasco on the hill to start. Also scheduled to pitch for the Tribe are Kelvin De La Cruz, David Huff, Doug Mathis, Zach McAllister, and Chris Perez.

If you happen to be in the Glendale, Arizona area on Thursday, and have appreciable baseball skill, you can tryout for the Dodgers in hopes of signing a minor league contract. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Thursday, and the tryout begins at 9 a.m.; just remember, the party is BYOU (bring your own uniform).

Game Time: 12:05 p.m. PST

No TV or radio (Cleveland broadcast can be heard via MLB Gameday)

MLB Gameday