PEORIA, Ariz. -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated Friday night that rookie Ivan DeJesus Jr. is likely to start at second base ahead of veteran utility man Jamey Carroll while Casey Blake is injured.
Blake might miss only a handful of games as he recovers from thoracic spinal inflammation. While he's been out, Juan Uribe has moved to third base and Mattingly has given the bulk of playing time at second base to DeJesus, who has rebounded from a broken leg in 2009 and concerns about his approach last year.
Those concerns apparently are in the past, as DeJesus has held his own in a competition for an infield job with non-roster veterans Aaron Miles and Juan Castro. DeJesus has options, so he is most likely to make the Opening Day roster because he can be sent back down when Blake returns without risk of losing him on waivers. Miles and Castro cannot.
"I'm ready, I'm confident," said DeJesus. "If it happens, it'll be exciting. It'll be a dream come true, something I've been waiting my whole life for. If not, I know I'll be there this year and for a long time."
So, while Miles and Castro fight for a final spot, DeJesus not only appears to have the club made, he's likely to start because Mattingly likes his bat and the organization views Carroll as a part-time player, even though he became more than that last year. Carroll is playing his way back into shape after suffering a badly bruised right index finger and has played shortstop the past two days.
If the Dodgers have concerns about Carroll's ability to make the throw from shortstop, that might give the final infield spot to Castro, a natural shortstop.
"His biggest value is that he can play anywhere," Mattingly said of Carroll. "I like him to play all over."
Mattingly said he wouldn't hesitate having DeJesus make his Major League debut against Giants Opening Day starter Tim Lincecum.
"If he's starting that day, he's starting. Young kids got to start somewhere," Mattingly said. "For me, there's not much discussion who plays on an everyday basis."
DeJesus played all nine innings Thursday and again Friday night, but Mattingly said that was necessitated by Friday's split-squad games.
McCourt: Time not right to discuss ownership
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Dodgers owner Frank McCourt attended Friday's fund-raising game for victims of the January shootings here but declined to discuss the club's ownership status.
2010 Spring Training - Los Angeles Dodgers
News & Features
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Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
The game between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks benefited the Tucson Together Fund, established to assist victims, families and witnesses of the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six, including Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old daughter of Dodgers scout John Green, and wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Fifth starter candidates have rough day
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Dodgers' fifth starter candidate who had the best day Friday was Jon Garland, who's still injured with a strained oblique but, while throwing on flat ground, didn't get hit or further injure himself.
The two candidates to replace him, assuming Garland can't make it when his turn first comes up April 12, didn't fare as well. Tim Redding left a day game in Tucson, Ariz., with a twinge in his lower back while making a pitch, and John Ely was battered for six runs on eight hits with two walks in four innings by Seattle in a night game.
Ely allowed a two-run homer to Matt Tuiasosopo and the damage would have been worse if not for two of the best defensive plays of the spring, both by right fielder Gabe Kapler, who threw out Adam Kennedy trying to go from first to third on Michael Saunders' single before the home run and made a diving catch racing toward the fence on a Josh Wilson line drive.
Despite a spring ERA of 5.68, Ely has the best chance of making that April 12 start because he still has options and can be brought up and down. Redding, a non-roster invitee, would have his Major League salary of $750,000 guaranteed by a callup, which isn't likely if Garland's absence is short term as expected.
"Ely has pitched really good, but he had a little rough outing tonight," said manager Don Mattingly. "His body of work has been pretty good."
Three relievers with guaranteed spots followed Ely with four hitless and scoreless innings -- Hong-Chih Kuo and Blake Hawksworth one each and Kenley Jansen with two. Hawksworth figures to be the long reliever, but the Dodgers want Jansen capable of going two innings, especially on nights when Kuo is unavailable, Mattingly said.
"He should be able to pitch. He's big and strong," Mattingly said. "We have a combination of guys for the seventh and eighth."
Jonathan Broxton and Matt Guerrier have two other spots in the bullpen, and Mike MacDougal has essentially nailed down another. The Dodgers plan to open the season with five starters and seven relievers, with the final relief job a competition that appears to be narrowed down to Scott Elbert and Lance Cormier.
Redding day to day after exiting with back pain
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Dodgers non-roster starting pitcher Tim Redding left Friday's game against the D-backs with lower back pain in his right side and is considered day to day.
Redding told the club he first felt a twinge swinging a bat. He came out after the first pitch to the fourth batter in the fourth inning, clutching his side.
Redding had been contending with John Ely for a possible fifth starter job to replace Jon Garland, who suffered a strained oblique March 9.
The Dodgers already figure to start the season with four other players on the disabled list -- Garland, Vicente Padilla, Casey Blake and Dioner Navarro.
Dodgers tell Mahay he won't make roster
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Dodgers non-roster reliever Ron Mahay, whose escape clause calls for a decision Friday, was told he won't make the Opening Day roster and the club is awaiting a decision on whether he will accept an assignment to the Minor Leagues.
The 39-year-old Mahay was trying to make the club as a second left-handed reliever to Hong-Chih Kuo, but the dramatic improvement of Scott Elbert dropped Mahay off the depth chart.
Mahay is a 10-year Major League veteran who broke in as an outfielder and was converted to a reliever. In eight appearances this spring, he has a 9.82 ERA with three homers allowed in 7 1/3 innings.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.