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Scott Kazmir begins rehab assignment, Corey Seager still active

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MLB: Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers left-hander Scott Kazmir started a minor league rehab assignment on Monday night, starting for the Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

It is the first game action of the season for Kazmir, who began the season on the disabled list with a left hip strain. He is currently on the 60-day DL.

His hip strain prevented Kazmir from throwing at his normal velocity during spring training, and the Dodgers had him work on a specialized program at Camelback Ranch in Arizona designed to increase arm speed and velocity.

Kazmir allowed a home run to his first batter faced, Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) third baseman Ruddy Giron, then a single, but got out of the first inning otherwise unscathed, throwing 14 pitches.

Kazmir allowed a pair of hits in his final two innings, but no more runs. He finished his night throwing 40 pitches in three innings, allowing a run on four hits, with no strikeouts and no walks. He hit one batter.

The plan is for Kazmir to continue to progress forward much like spring training, meaning likely four innings in his next start, manager Dave Roberts said before Monday’s game.

Rotation flip flop

The Dodgers switched their rotation a bit, and will have Clayton Kershaw pitch the finale against the Angels on Thursday in Anaheim, on four days rest. Alex Wood will pitch on Friday in the series opener against the Padres in San Diego.

Starting lineups

Pos Angels Pos Dodgers
Pos Angels Pos Dodgers
CF Maybin 2B Utley (L)
RF Calhoun (L) LF Taylor
1B Pujols 3B Turner
3B Escobar 1B Bellinger (L)
SS Simmons C Grandal (S)
C Maldonado CF Pederson (L)
2B Espinosa (S) RF Puig
LF Young (S) SS Hernandez
P Nolasco P Hill (L)
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT TV: MLB Network, Fox Sports West

In theory, Kershaw starting Thursday could see him make two more starts before the All-Star break, though that would entail him also starting Tuesday, July 4 against the Diamondbacks then Sunday, July 9 against the Royals. Pitching on Sunday would eliminate Kershaw from consideration from the All-Star Game.

I did ask Roberts if this was a consideration, and he said it was far too early to talk that far ahead in the rotation.

Given that the Dodgers have used pretty much every opportunity to give their starters, including Kershaw, extra rest whenever possible, the smart money is on Kershaw pitching just once next week, then lining up to pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 11.

Seager still active

Corey Seager is out of the Dodgers lineup for a third straight day, but he remains on the active roster for now, still nursing a right hamstring strain. Seager did agility drills on the field on Monday, and Roberts said Seager was roughly 80%.

Seager is available to pinch hit if needed, but the Dodgers will likely be cautious.

“We kind of want to push it as far as we can, as far as days to not put him on the DL,” Roberts said. “It potentially could happen, but we’re hopeful that we don’t need to.”

Halos roster move

The Angels made a roster move before Monday’s game. They recalled infielder Jefry Marte from Triple-A Salt Lake, and optioned infielder Kaleb Cowart to Triple-A.