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2/19/2014 5:05 P.M. ET

Haren, Beckett face hitters; Maholm close

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dan Haren and Josh Beckett threw batting practice on Wednesday, leaving Paul Maholm as the only Dodgers starter yet to face live hitters.

Maholm, who had left elbow issues in September with Atlanta, said he's healthy and expects to throw a bullpen session on Thursday, which still would leave him a few days behind the rest of the starting rotation. He was making throws during pickoff drills.

Maholm was signed when camp opened as fifth-starter insurance for Beckett, who is coming off career-threatening thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. However, Beckett continues to impress and said he considered facing hitters a milestone in his comeback.

"I was a little nervous going in," he said. "Mentally, this was a big hurdle today, more than people think. [It's big] each time I get out there and get over a mental hurdle. I felt really good today. I'm excited."

Beckett was greeted as he came off the mound by Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax, who has worked with Beckett for more than a decade.

"I was standing there with Haren, we were a few feet from Sandy, and I said, 'Did you ever think we'd be pitching and standing here with Sandy Koufax?' And he said, 'There should be a unicorn out here.'"

Dodgers may go with platoon at second base

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alex Guerrero's slow transition from Cuban National Series shortstop to Major League second baseman has Dodgers manager Don Mattingly open to a platoon at the position.

"We'll think about it, for sure," Mattingly said on Wednesday. "I like platoons because, basically, it gets you good matchups if you get the right guys for it. It keeps guys involved, keeps them fresh and they know when they will be starting. I actually like it, so definitely, no question."

Of course, that wasn't the plan when the right-handed-hitting Guerrero was signed to a four-year, $28 million deal. But the natural shortstop still isn't looking like a natural second baseman defensively.

So during infield drills, Guerrero is joined at second base by another converted shortstop, Dee Gordon, as well as Miguel Rojas and Justin Turner. Also in the utility mix are Justin Sellers, Chone Figgins and Brendan Harris.

Among that group, only Gordon and Figgins (switch) hit left-handed.

League slightly behind bullpen colleagues

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Most of the relievers expected to be in the Dodgers' bullpen this year threw live batting practice on Wednesday, while Brandon League returned from a mild lat strain to throw a bullpen session.

Among those throwing to hitters were closer Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson, Chris Perez and J.P. Howell. League said he threw cautiously with no discomfort and hoped to do so again on Friday before facing hitters.

Meanwhile, reliever Jose Dominguez tried out a new slider grip suggested by legendary lefty Sandy Koufax and reported improved downward break on the pitch.

Manager Don Mattingly said Zach Lee, who has been on a restricted throwing program because of a strained lat, might return to the mound on Thursday.

And reliever Yimi Garcia has a bruised kneecap and has resumed playing catch.

Dodgers prepare for intrasquad games

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers will play intrasquad games on Sunday and Monday on the backfields of Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

Pitchers scheduled to throw on Sunday include Matt Magill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Perez, Brian Wilson, Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell. On Monday, Stephen Fife, Dan Haren, Chris Reed, Paco Rodriguez and Jamey Wright each will pitch.


Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.