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Dodgers to start Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu in Australia openers

March 09, 2014|By Kevin Baxter
  • Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, left, practices his pick-off move alongside teammate Hyun-Jin Ryu during a spring training workout.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, left, practices his pick-off move alongside… (Paul Sancya / Associated…)

PHOENIX -- Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly made official Sunday what had been suspected for some time: Left-handers Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu are set to start the team's season-opening games against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia.

But anything beyond that, Mattingly said, is still to be determined.

"We still haven't made all our decisions on exactly how we’re going to set up our roster," he said. "So those are issues that we continue to talk with guys about."

Among the issues to be determined is what to do with right-hander Zack Greinke and outfielder Matt Kemp. Neither Greinke, who came out of his only spring training start with a right calf strain, nor Kemp, who had ankle surgery in October, will make the trip to Australia, and both could start the season on the disabled list.

Kemp, who has yet to run the bases or play the field this spring, was scheduled to bat and run to first in an intersquad game Sunday. Greinke, who threw a two-inning simulated game Saturday, is expected to throw a bullpen session Monday.

"Assuming everything would go good, in the next couple of days we would make a decision on where he’s going to pitch after that,” Mattingly said.

Greinke's next real test will likely come when he tests his calf in fielding drills.

Also Sunday, outfielder Yasiel Puig returned to camp after an excused absence Saturday. Mattingly has refused to discuss why Puig was gone or where he went, other than to say he returned to Phoenix on a plane late Sunday morning. He was in the lineup for Sunday's game with the Giants.

"Yasiel can talk all he wants and tell you guys whatever he wants to tell you about what was going on," Mattingly said. "To us, it’s personal. It was never a problem. It was talked about before. This is not an issue in any way, shape or form as far as we’re concerned.

"It’s up to him if he wants to talk or not talk."

Puig, however, did not enter the clubhouse until it was closed to the media, and ran past reporters without speaking when he took the field for drills.

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