With Opening Day just one week away, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still working on getting their regular players healthy. Among those who recently overcame a minor injury is left-handed starter Alex Wood, who gets the nod Monday evening when the Dodgers host the Texas Rangers in Cactus League play.
Wood makes his fourth start of the spring, and third since being skipped in the rotation with forearm tightness. Wood’s longest outing this year was his last one when he threw four innings against the Kansas City Royals giving up three earned runs.
The 25-year-old lefty is currently slated to be the Dodgers’ fourth starter, with his outing start of the regular season likely coming in the first game against the division rival San Francisco Giants on April 7 at AT&T Park.
Overall on the spring, Wood has thrown nine innings, giving up six runs on 14 hits while striking out seven and walking one.
The Rangers also send a left-hander to the mound on Monday in Derek Holland. The 29 year old has had a strong showing, giving up 20 hits and five runs across 17 innings (2.65 ERA) in five starts. Additionally, he has 14 strikeouts to seven walks.
Holland has made one regular season start in his career against the Dodgers. He threw five innings and gave up five hits and four runs in a loss. Monday’s game features the return of Kiké Hernandez and Yasiel Puig to the Dodgers lineup.
Puig missed the last couple games with a tight hamstring that was not believed to be serious, but with the issues he dealt with for almost all of 2015 it is a bit alarming. He’s batting .344/.351/.563 with one home run, four doubles, six RBIs, five strikeouts and two walks in 34 plate appearances over 13 games.
Hernandez experienced some soreness after being hit by a pitch on his side last Sunday. He started two games at shortstop in the days after, but has not played since Thursday.
With just a couple spring game remaining, the Dodger offense ranks fifth in the National League with a .284 team batting average this spring, while ranking third in slugging (.469) and fourth in on-base percentage (.350).
Justin Turner has far and away been the hottest bat in the Dodgers lineup. He has hit safely in all seven of his Cactus League games, as he is 11-for-17 (.647) with six doubles, one home run and four RBIs.
Scott Van Slyke has also been hot, batting .415/.500/.732 with three home runs and six RBIs in 15 games.
SS: Kike Hernandez
RF: Yasiel Puig
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
LF: Scott Van Sylke
C: Austin Barnes
CF: Joc Pederson
2B: Charlie Culberson
P: Alex Wood
CF: Delino DeShields
SS: Elvis Andrus
2B: Rougned Odor
1B: Ryan Rua
C: Robinson Chirinos
DH: Michael McKenry
LF: Drew Stubbs
3B: Drew Robinson
RF: Ryan Strausborger