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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Lineup Should Look Familiar on April 5

March 16, 1994|MARYANN HUDSON

The lineup the Dodgers fielded Tuesday in their 11-1 victory against the Montreal Expos is the same one that is expected to open the season April 5 at Dodger Stadium. Orel Hershiser, who cruised through five innings, giving up one run and striking out five, is expected to be the opening day pitcher, according to Manager Tom Lasorda, for the fourth time.

Delino DeShields--who had two hits, scored three runs and stole a base--led off, followed by Brett Butler, Mike Piazza, Darryl Strawberry, Eric Karros, Tim Wallach, Raul Mondesi and Jose Offerman in the game at Vero Beach, Fla.

Mondesi's hold on the right field job became stronger Tuesday through comments made by Fred Claire, Dodger executive vice president, after 12 players were cut from the major league roster. Right fielder Billy Ashley, who was the club's minor league player of the year last season, was optioned to triple-A Albuquerque.

"Raul Mondesi jumped out of the gate and is off and running with the job. He is clearly in the lead to go right into right field at Dodger Stadium," Claire said.

Mike Busch, once believed to be the next Dodger third baseman, was moved back to first base, but Henry Rodriquez, a left-handed batter who is out of options, is expected to back up Eric Karros there. Also sent down was left-handed pitcher Ben VanRyn, whom Claire says needs a full season of starting at Albuquerque.

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The cuts leave the Dodgers with 28 players on their roster, but that is deceiving because there are also 11 non-roster players, including infielder Jeff Treadway, who will make the club as a reserve. Of the 39 players, 21 are pitchers, including six left-handers vying for a spot in the bullpen. But Lasorda said that there are no standouts among them.

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Also optioned to Albuquerque were catcher Jerry Brooks, infielders Ron Coomer and Eddie Pye and pitchers Jose Parra and Todd Williams, who is probably going to have an operation on his right elbow. . . . Pedro Astacio is scheduled to make his first appearance this spring when he follows Ramon Martinez in Friday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies. . . . Kevin Gross will start a "B" game today.

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