PHOENIX -- Andre Ethier has played 1,417 games in his 10-year major league career, 14th most in Dodgers history, and his 1,214 starts rank 15th in franchise history. On Wednesday, he will do something he has never done in a major league game - start at leadoff.
Ethier has started at eight different spots in the batting order in his career, but never batting first. But he gets the call there against the Rockies on Wednesday afternoon at Camelback Ranch. And it might happen at times during the regular season.
"We might see it," manager Dave Roberts said. "It's a discussion we should certainly have, and we might see that this season. He gets on base, and if there is a matchup that we feel is a great matchup that night, to see him potentially gets three at-bats against that starter, it makes sense."
Ethier has a career .383 on-base percentage against right-handed pitching, and could match up batting first in some games. It goes back to what Roberts said last week about several people filling the leadoff role since the Dodgers don't have a prototypical leadoff hitter.
"You have to look at your roster. We have some guys that potentially could hit at the top of the order, but might be a little further along in their career," Roberts said. "Whoever it might be, it's not going to be the prototypical stolen base guy."
Roberts said he wanted to get Ethier a game or two in the leadoff spot during spring to get him ready should be bat there during the regular season. Not that Wednesday is a tryout for the No. 1 spot or anything.
"Whether he's hitting first or if he's hitting ninth today, I just want him to get three quality at-bats. That's it," Roberts explained. "Today, whether he gets three hits or if he punches out three times isn't going to affect my decision on where to hit him going forward."
The Dodgers lineup is beginning to look more and more like a regular season version as we move closer to opening day and as more regulars return to good health.
Yasmani Grandal, who battled a left forearm contusion, is back in the lineup for the first time in a week, batting sixth and catching for the Dodgers.
Howie Kendrick is the designated hitter again, the second day in a row in the lineup after missing nine days with right groin soreness.
Justin Turner is back at third base as planned, playing every other day this week after sitting out while recovering from offseason knee surgery.
Zach Lee starts for the Dodgers on the mound, and is expected to be followed by Julio Urias, Carlos Frias, Adam Liberatore, Yimi Garcia and Matt West.
Chad Bettis pitches for Colorado.
No television, radio nor webcast from either side today. I will keep you informed on any sounds heard, if any, should a tree fall nearby.