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Corey Seager returns to lineup in Dodgers spring finale

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MLB: NLCS-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time all spring, in the 38th and final exhibition game of 2017, the Dodgers finally have their planned starting eight in the same lineup. Sort of.

Corey Seager is finally back in a major league game for the first time since March 3, missing four weeks with a sore oblique. Much of the last two weeks for Seager has involved playing in minor league games, getting as many at-bats as possible in a shortened time to get ready for the regular season.

This isn’t new for Seager, who missed three weeks’ worth of major league games last spring with a right knee sprain, only to return to the Freeway Series. He played in all three games against the Angels in 2016, then was ready on opening day and had one of the greatest rookie seasons in Dodgers franchise history.

This year, Seager will play in just one Freeway Series game, tonight, but the plan is the same, to start on opening day.

It’s not entirely accurate to say Saturday’s lineup is the one exactly planned by the Dodgers, since Andre Ethier was expected to be the left-handed side of the left field platoon. But Andrew Toles, who ended 2016 in that role, will begin 2017 in the same role, and he starts in left field on Saturday night.

The other quirk on Saturday is that the Dodgers are using a designated hitter at home, which makes sense because starter Brandon McCarthy is only expected to pitch a shortened tuneup anyway. Yasmani Grandal is the designated hitter on Saturday, with backup Austin Barnes behind the plate on Saturday night.

Old friend Jesse Chavez starts on the mound for the Angels.

Lineup

Toles LF
Seager SS
Turner 3B
Gonzalez 1B
Forsythe 2B
Grandal DH
Pederson CF
Puig RF
Barnes C

Those first eight look like a potential opening day lineup, though perhaps not in the same order.

Game info

Time: 6:10 p.m. PT

Location: Dodger Stadium

TV: SportsNet LA, Fox Sports West