Dodgers starter Nathan Eovaldi delivers a pitch against the Mariners during… (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated…)
If there is depth anywhere in the Dodgers farm system it is supposedly, hopefully, with their young arms.
With Dee Gordon set to start at shortstop and Jerry Sands likely to make the club as a reserve outfielder, there are precious few position players pounding on the Dodgers’ door. OK, zero.
Pitching, however, provided a steady flow of arms last season, and there may be more to come. The most likely candidate to be called up should someone in the rotation go down this season is right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who was mostly very effective last season when brought up.
Eovaldi started the opener in a split-squad game Saturday and appeared sharp, throwing three scoreless innings in a game eventually called after nine innings, tied 5-5 against the Mariners.
Manager Don Mattingly is so high on Eovaldi, 22, that before the spring opener he compared him to no less than Clayton Kershaw. Eovaldi then went out and gave up a pair of hits and two walks in less than two innings.
But Saturday he had a relatively easy time with the Mariners. In his three innings, he allowed two hits and did not walk a batter.
Eovaldi went 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 10 games (six starts) for the Dodgers last season; he was 6-5 with a 2.62 ERA at double-A Chattanooga. Right now, he’s next in line.
Saturday, however, wasn’t an encouraging day for back-in-the-USA Ronald Belisario. His comeback continues to wobble. Saturday in one forgettable inning, he gave up four runs on three hits and a walk. In his two early spring appearances, he has yet to strike out a batter.
Belisario told reporters it did not affect his performance, but prior to pitching, umpires asked him to remove a yellow bracelet. Belisario, however, said it included a symbol of his Santeria religion and he never removes it. Instead, he wore a protective sleeve to cover it.
Offensively, the Dodgers received a solo home run from Matt Treanor, who's mostly here for his defense, and a two-run single from Josh Fields, a third baseman in camp as a non-roster invitee.
Infielder Justin Sellers also left the game after being struck on the chin with a batted ball while running from first to second. He was experiencing headaches, but was cleared by the medical staff and is scheduled to play Sunday.
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