The Dodgers face Rockies rookie Kyle Freeland on Friday afternoon at Coors Field, one of four left-handed starting pitchers the club is set to face in this six-game road trip. In the series opener in Denver, shortstop Corey Seager and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez get their first day off of the season.
Kike Hernandez gets the call at shortstop in place of Seager on Friday, after starting in center field on Tuesday against southpaw Clayton Richard.
Scott Van Slyke gets his first start of the year, manning first base in place of Gonzalez.
“I do see Adrian getting more days off, and it just makes sense to get him those days off against lefties,” manager Dave Roberts said on Tuesday.
The one position at which there is a true platoon is left field, where Franklin Gutierrez starts on Friday. He bats second with Seager out, and Yasiel Puig bats cleanup after three home runs in his last two games, all against right-handers.
Puig batted fifth on Tuesday against Richard.
Joc Pederson, who sat on Tuesday, starts on Friday against the left-hander.
“Joc’s not in there tonight, but he will see more left-handed pitching this season,” Roberts said Tuesday.
Pederson started nine times in 46 games against left-handed pitchers in 2016.
With Hyun-jin Ryu on the mound, the Rockies are facing a lefty as well, and as such have right-handers Stephen Cardullo and Dustin Garneau starting in left field field and catcher, respectively. Cardullo hit his first major league home run last Aug. 31 against the Dodgers. Cardullo hit home runs in each game of a doubleheader that night, and to date those are his only two major league home runs.