Chad Billingsley is set to make his third start of the spring today, as the Dodgers head to Phoenix to face the Oakland A's. Billingsley pitched three innings in his first start this spring, and went 3 2/3 innings in his last outing. Expect him to get stretched out a bit today, much like Clayton Kershaw was yesterday. The A's have a split squad facing the Dodgers, as Oakland is also facing the Brewers.
Old friend Andy LaRoche is starting at shortstop today for the A's, and is doing his best to make their club as a utility man of sorts. Remember, take these early spring numbers with a grain of salt, but LaRoche is hitting .409/.536/.955 with three home runs. Today is his 13th Cactus League game, and will be his third at shortstop, to go with four games at first base, four games at third base, and two games at second base.
Following Billingsley on the hill today for the Dodgers are Blake Hawksworth, Kenley Jansen, and Javy Guerra.
Gio Gonzalez will start for Oakland today. Other A's hurlers slated to pitch are Jerry Blevins, Fernando Cabrera, Willie Eyre, and Brad Ziegler.
- The Dodgers made their second cut of the spring, optioning Luis Vasquez to minor league camp today. There are 57 players that remain in camp (27 pitchers, 30 position players). Expect that number to decrease soon, but likely after this weekend, as the Dodgers have four games in two days.
- Speaking of this weekend, the Dodgers will play the Cubs in Las Vegas on Sunday. Rubby De La Rosa will make the start for the Dodgers, and starters Rod Barajas, James Loney, Rafael Furcal, Jay Gibbons, and Matt Kemp are expected to make the trip as well.
- Juan Castro is not with the team today, but that's because his wife gave birth to their second child on Thursday night. Castro is expected back at Camelback Ranch on Saturday.
- Old friend Takashi Saito, unable to reach his parents in Japan, has left Brewers' camp in an effort to reach them, per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. The devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Saito's hometown of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. UPDATE: All of Saito's family has been accounted for, per Andrew Gruman of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Game Time: 12:05 p.m. PST
TV: none; no local radio either; A's audio broadcast is available online