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Dodgers confident Joel Peralta will be ready for opening day

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers reliever Joel Peralta is still dealing with shoulder discomfort, but remains on track to open the regular season with the team, manager Don Mattingly said.

"Peralta is fine. He's still on the program. I was a little surprised yesterday when I saw he wasn't going to be ready for the season [per a report from Ken Gurnick of MLB.com]," Mattingly said. "I think we all expect him to be ready for he season. His program continues."

Peralta has so far been limited to only playing catch during camp after feeling discomfort in his shoulder in the weeks before reporting to Camelback Ranch. He played catch on Thursday under the watchful eye of trainer Stan Conte, on the first full day of full squad workouts for the Dodgers.

Mattingly didn't have an exact timetable for Peralta's return to the mound.

"As long as he continues to feel good and his program keeps progressing, you'll see him out there," Mattingly said.

Peralta blamed the discomfort on not playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic, something he did in seven of the previous eight seasons.

"Normally I play winter ball. I didn't pitch this year because new team, I didn't want anything to happen to make Andrew [Friedman] look bad," Peralta said last week. "I always like to pitch there to get me ready for spring training and have all my pitches ready."

The Dodgers acquired Peralta in November in a four-player deal with the Rays, where he pitched for the last four seasons. During his time in Tampa Bay (2011-2014), Peralta was seventh among major league relief pitchers in innings (269⅓) and led all pitchers with 296 appearances.