Spring Training Preview: Scott Kazmir Makes First Start As Dodgers, Giants Meet Under The Lights In Scottsdale
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers have gotten off to a good start this spring, as they are 3-1 in Cactus League play, and are fresh off avenging their first loss of the year. Wednesday marks the second straight game in which a Dodgers left-hander makes his 2017 debut.

Just as Julio Urias is hoping to persuade the Dodgers into carrying him on their Opening Day roster, Scott Kazmir is looking to secure a spot in the starting rotation, after a disappointing close to last season.

Kazmir gets to face the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, in what’s the first night game this spring for both clubs. The Giants began their slate of exhibition games 3-0 but have dropped their past two contests.

Kazmir went 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA, 4.48 FIP, 1.36 WHIP, 134 strikeouts and 52 walks in 136.1 innings pitched across 26 starts last year. He missed the final six weeks due to thoracic spinal inflammation, and has spent the spring sorting through mechanical issues.

The three-time All-Star is 1-2 with a 5.26 in five career starts against San Francisco. Buster Posey was in the Giants lineup but he was scratched because of neck stiffness. Kazmir will still face multiple regulars, including Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence and Denard Span.

Starting in Posey’s place is former Dodgers backup catcher Tim Federowicz. Patrick Schuster, Ralston Cash and Josh Ravin are among the Dodgers relievers expected to pitch. Opposing Kazmir is Giants veteran right-hander Matt Cain.

The 32-year-old has dealt with a multitude of injuries in recent years, but was able to pitch in 21 games (17 starts) in 2016. In 89.1 innings he went 4-8 with a 5.64 ERA, 5.14 FIP and 1.51 WHIP while striking out 72 and walking 32.

Cain, who has an opportunity to be the Giants fifth starter this season if he can prove he is healthy, is 5-11 with a 3.53 ERA in 32 career games against the Dodgers.

Justin Turner is out of the lineup a third consecutive game, though it’s part of a pre-determined plan. Cody Bellinger receives the start at first base, while Henry Ramos (left field) joins Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig in the outfield.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chase Utley
DH: Yasmani Grandal
CF: Joc Pederson
RF: Yasiel Puig
SS: Kiké Hernandez
1B: Cody Bellinger
C: Bobby Wilson
3B: Charlie Culberson
LF: Henry Ramos

Giants lineup:

CF: Denard Span
DH: Eduardo Nunez
RF: Hunter Pence
1B: Brandon Belt
3B: Aaron Hill
LF: Jarrett Parker
SS: Gordon Beckham
2B: Kelby Tomlinson
C: Tim Federowicz