PHOENIX – The Dodgers are planning to start Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in their season-opening series in Australia, Manager Don Manager intimated Saturday.
Mattingly stopped short of officially naming Kershaw and Greinke his starters for the two-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks. But when pressed on the matter, Mattingly said: “Kersh is our No. 1 guy. That’s not hard to say. Zack kind of lines up right there right next to him.”
The series is scheduled for March 22-23, which falls about a week earlier than recent season openers.
Mattingly said all of the team’s starting pitchers, with the possible exception of Josh Beckett, will be prepared to pitch in Australia. If Kershaw or Greinke have to skip a bullpen session this spring for any reason, their readiness could be compromised.
Beckett might be on a more conservative schedule because he is recovering from an operation to relieve a nerve problem.
Kershaw and Greinke said they don’t expect to do anything particularly different this camp.
Around the time of the Australia series, Greinke said, is “when you start to feel pretty good. That will be about right on time.
“I'm assuming I won’t be throwing eight innings over in Australia. I guess it’s possible, but I’m guessing it will probably be more of a 90-pitch type thing.”