Spring Training Preview: Dalton Rushing In Dodgers Lineup For First Career Cactus League Start

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are getting plenty familiar with each other ahead of opening the regular season with the Seoul Series in South Korea, with Friday’s matchup at Camelback Ranch completing a home-and-home in Cactus League play on back-to-back days.

Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Max Muncy and Manuel Margot are among the regulars in the Dodgers lineup who are making their respective 2024 debuts.

Meanwhile, top prospect Dalton Rushing is making his first career Cactus League start. Rushing is among the Dodgers’ non-roster invitees to big league camp this year and made his first career Spring Training appearance on Thursday with a pinch-hit opportunity.

Rushing is among the Dodgers’ organizational catching depth, which also includes Diego Cartaya, who is in camp as well but is yet to make an appearance in 2024.

Rushing and the Dodgers offense are going to look to provide run support for Landon Knack. The right-hander previously made Cactus League appearances in 2021 and 2023.

Knack went a combined 5-1 with a 2.51 ERA and 1.16 WHIP across 22 starts last season during time with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently told DodgerBlue.com that he anticipates Knack making his MLB debut at some point during the 2024 season.

San Diego counters with Jhony Brito, who began his professional career with the New York Yankees in 2015 and is entering his first season as a member of the Padres organization.

Briton went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four games (two starts) during Grapefruit League play last year. Brito proceeded to make his MLB debut with the Yankees last season, going 9-7 with a 4.28 ERA.

Dodgers lineup

SS: Miguel Rojas
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
CF: Manuel Margot
LF: Miguel Vargas
2B: Chris Owings
DH: Dalton Rushing
RF: Jose Ramos

Padres lineup

SS: Tyler Wade
RF: Cal Mitchell
1B: Graham Pauley
C: Kyle Higashioka
3B: Matthew Batten
DH: Robert Perez Jr.
CF: Bryce Johnson
LF: Óscar Mercado
2B: Mason McCoy

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