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Carl Crawford returns to field, Brian Wilson starts vs. Mariners

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Pregame news and notes from Tuesday at Camelback Ranch, where the Dodgers will battle the Mariners.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

GLENDALE -- Carl Crawford returns to the field for the Dodgers on Tuesday afternoon as they take on the Mariners at Camelback Ranch. Crawford, limited with tightness in his right quad, last played in the outfield on Wednesday against Arizona.

Crawford is expected to play five innings in the field on Tuesday, per manager Don Mattingly, and will likely be the designated hitter on Wednesday night when the Dodgers are in Goodyear to battle the Reds.

In other lineup notes, Chone Figgins gets the start at second base, his fifth different position in seven games. He will be followed at second on Tuesday by Dee Gordon, who will see time in center field on Wednesday.

"I want [Gordon] to get enough time for us to be able to figure out a value there," Mattingly said. "We've got that utility spot that we're trying to figure out also, so we need to figure out what our guys can do and can't do."

Scheduled reserves for the Dodgers on Tuesday include Mike Baxter in left field, Joc Pederson in center field, Tim Federowicz at catcher, Gordon at second, Brendan Harris at third base, Miguel Rojas at shortstop, and Scott Van Slyke at first base.

When Van Slyke is at first base, he'll be next to his dad, Andy, the new first base coach of the Mariners.

Brian Wilson gets the start for the Dodgers in what is essentially a bullpen game for the Dodgers in place of what would have been Zack Greinke's second Cactus League start. Wilson, who has made 333 appearances in the majors without a start, lobbied Mattingly to bat first in the lineup so he could hit. Wilson is 0-for-9 with a sacrifice at the plate in his career.

"He wanted to hit today," Mattingly said. "He was getting on Kershaw, saying 'I'll be the first guy to go three [innings].'"

Other pitchers scheduled to follow Wilson are Jamey Wright, Chris Withrow, Chris Perez, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen and Red Patterson.

Felix Hernandez starts for the Mariners, and will be followed on the mound by Hector Noesi, James Gillheeney, Jonathan Arias, Stephen Kohlscheen, Dominic Leone.

In uniform from the minor league side for the Dodgers is Trayvon Robinson, who re-sighed with the club on a minor-league deal. Robinson will wear No. 89, and be joined by outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker (No. 91) and right-handed pitcher Romulo Sanchez (No. 97).

Notes

  • Mattingly isn't any closer to divulging his Australia starting pitchers, but it sounds like the decisions have been made. "We've talked to each guy individually, so they kind of know the program at this point," Mattingly said. "As we get closer I'm sure we'll be more willing to throw it out there."
  • John Shoemaker, will manage the rookie level Arizona League Dodgers this season, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday's game. Shoemaker has been in the Dodgers organization as a player, coach, manager or coordinator since 1977.
  • The Dodgers will get their first crack at the new instant replay system on Thursday in Tempe against the Angels. That is one of five Cactus League games in which the team will get to try out the new system, which will be fully implemented during the regular season. The other games are March 11 at Kansas City, March 12 vs. Arizona, March 15 vs. the White Sox and March 16 vs. Colorado.
  • Dan Plesac was in camp Tuesday interviewing several Dodgers (I interviewed Plesac for a later post as well) as part of the MLB Network "30 Clubs in 30 Days" series. The Dodgers' episode will debut Tuesday night at 7 p.m. PT.