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Austin Barnes starts at catcher, joins rare versatile Dodgers quartet

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Rob Tringali/Getty Images

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers made just small tweak to the lineup that whitewashed the Padres 15-0 in the series opener, and on Tuesday will have a different battery as they try for a second consecutive victory and eighth straight win over the Padres.

Austin Barnes gets the call at catcher, receiving pitches from left-hander Scott Kazmir, who will make his Dodgers debut.

Manager Dave Roberts said on Tuesday that catcher A.J. Ellis, who started and drove in three runs in Monday's opening day win, will catch Wednesday in Kenta Maeda's big league debut, followed by Barnes again behind the plate on Thursday afternoon in San Francisco, catching Alex Wood.

Barnes will make a little bit of history on Tuesday. He played the final inning on Monday's blowout at second base, and by starting at catcher gives him games at both positions for a second consecutive season. In Dodgers franchise history, which dates back to 1884, just three other Dodgers have played both second base and catcher in two different seasons — Tom Daly (1892, 1896), Fred Jacklitsch (1903-04) and Al Lopez (1933-34).

On the mend

Roberts said both Yasmani Grandal and Howie Kendrick would play in a simulated game on Wednesday, and remains hopeful that both will be ready by Tuesday's home opener. That sounds more likely for Grandal, who has been hitting in games and on Tuesday caught a bullpen session.

But Kendrick, nursing a tight calf, has not seen game action and hasn't played defense in some time. It seems there would need to be significant progress in the next week for Kendrick to be ready to be activated by Tuesday.

Hyun-jin Ryu will throw a two-inning simulated game on Thursday, with roughly 20 pitches each innings. If all goes well, he will continue to ramp up intensity in future game action, roughly every five days or so as he continues to build up arm strength much like his own spring training.