Spring Training Preview: Dodgers To Piggyback Brandon McCarthy, Julio Urias Against Rangers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers enjoyed their first true off day of the spring Thursday, as they had no games scheduled and manager Dave Roberts said he did not want players at the club’s facility. However, that did not stop Clayton Kershaw from throwing a bullpen session in order to remain on schedule. Others also stuck to their respective workout routines.

The Dodgers return to the field Friday evening as they host the Texas Rangers at Camelback Ranch. Veteran Brandon McCarthy gets the start for Los Angeles, with young left-hander Julio Urias following him. McCarthy is expected to pitch three innings, and Urias two.

The start is McCarthy’s second of the spring, while the relief appearance is Urias’ first of the year. He’s previously started two Cactus League games in 2017.

In McCarthy’s first start, he gave up two hits and two runs in two innings of work against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is coming off a season in which he pitched in just 10 games (nine starts) after returning from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander went 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA, 3.70 FIP and 1.38 WHIP.

In his two spring starts, Urias threw a combined three innings, giving up two hits and one run while striking out four and walking one. The plan for Urias to start the season isn’t yet 100 percent clear, as he could either begin the year in the Dodgers’ rotation, be sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City or remain in Arizona for extended Spring Training.

Friday night Texas sends their top left-hander to the mound in Cole Hamels for his Cactus League debut. Hamels is coming off a strong first, full season with the Rangers. In 32 starts he went 15-5 with a 3.32 ERA and 1.31 WHIP while striking out 200 and walking 77 in 200.2 innings of work.

Frankling Gutierrez will look to get going this spring against a familiar face in Hamels as he is 4-for-12 with two home runs against him in his career. Gutierrez has gotten off to a rough start so far as he is 0-for-19 with nine strikeouts so far in Cactus League play.

There was an expectation Corey Seager would return from back tightness, but he remains out of the lineup. Roberts provided an update on his 22-year-old shortstop, explaining the issue has moved to Seager’s oblique.

O’Koyea Dickson was scratched from the Dodgers’ lineup due to glute tightness, and replaced as the designated hitter by Austin Barnes. Justin Turner returns for his first start since receiving a lubricating injection in his knee earlier this week.

The Rangers’ lineup features a familiar face in James Loney, who is the designated hitter and batting sixth. Loney spent parts of seven seasons with the Dodgers.

Friday’s game is being broadcast on SportsNet LA and aired on AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PT.

Dodgers lineup:

Forsythe 2B
Puig RF
Turner 3B
Gutierrez LF
Grandal C
Pederson CF
Van Slyke 1B
Barnes DH
Culberson SS

Rangers lineup:

CF: Delino DeShields
RF: Snider
1B: Ryan Rua
LF: Joey Gallo
3B: Will Middlebrooks
DH: James Loney
2B: Drew Robinson
C: A.J. Jiménez
SS: Doug Bernier