PHOENIX — There is real live baseball right around the corner here at spring training, with the Dodgers’ first two Cactus League games this weekend both televised by SportsNet LA and broadcast on radio as well.
Clayton Kershaw will start the Dodgers’ opener on Saturday against the White Sox, a 12:05 p.m. PT start at Camelback Ranch.
Manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw is only scheduled to pitch one inning, though in looking at the schedule that seems more a function of the relatively early start to spring training this season because of the World Baseball Classic.
Kershaw could conceivably start seven times this spring, pitching every fifth day with two extra days of rest built in, to get ready for his opening day start on April 3 against the Padres at Dodger Stadium. Seven starts is something Kershaw has only done once in the last seven springs.
The usual progression is to add an inning or approximately 15 pitches to the limit with each start, building up to six innings, with the final start of spring normally a reduced, scaled-back outing just before the regular season. The early start this year affords Kershaw six starts to build up rather than five. His first start of the Cactus League in 2016 was March 3, for instance.
Alex Wood is also expected to pitch on Saturday for the Dodgers.
Carson Fulmer, the eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, is expected to start on Saturday for the White Sox.
As expected, following Kershaw in the Dodgers rotation will be Rich Hill on Sunday against the Brewers in Maryvale, another televised 12:05 p.m. PT start, then Kenta Maeda gets the call back at Camelback Ranch on Monday against the Rockies.
Roberts also said the regulars would get roughly two plate appearances each before coming out, a fairly standard schedule in the early part of the spring schedule.
Charley Steiner and Rick Monday will call both weekend games on SportsNet LA, with a simulcast on LA Sports Radio AM 570.