3/27/2014 11:28 P.M. ET
Ryu one hurdle from starting U.S. opener
By Scott Miller / Special to MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- And the Dodgers' starting pitcher for Sunday's nationally televised domestic opener in San Diego is ...
Stay tuned. For another day.
Hey, with those two games of the Opening Series in Australia in the rear-view mirror and previously scheduled stateside Opening Day starter Clayton Kershaw scratched with a sore back, what better purpose for the annual Freeway Series with Anaheim than to give the Dodgers a chance to revert back to Spring Training fine-tune mode?
Hyun-Jin Ryu will throw a bullpen session on Friday to test his big right toe, which was injurred while running the bases at the Sydney Cricket Ground. If all goes well -- and the Dodgers expect it to -- then Ryu will get the big Sunday start against the Padres. If Ryu has any issues, manager Don Mattingly said before Thursday night's game against the Angels that veteran right-hander Dan Haren will draw the assignment.
"Looks positive," Mattingly said of Ryu. "That being said, he's throwing a 'pen tomorrow, so we really can't go 100 percent with where we're going to go until he throws the 'pen."
Haren threw in a bullpen session before Thursday's game and "is on track to go either way, Sunday or Wednesday," Mattingly said.
Zack Greinke is slated to start the second game in San Diego, on Tuesday.
Right now, the Dodgers are keeping all options open, so much so that the starter for Saturday's final Freeway Series game against the Angels is ... yes, stay tuned for that, too.
"I don't even know," Mattingly said Thursday afternoon.
What he does know is that Minor Leaguer Stephen Fife will start Friday night's Freeway Series game at Dodger Stadium. Then, the hope is that Haren starts Saturday in Anaheim in preparation for his first regular-season start on Wednesday.
Adrian pulled after getting plunked in elbow
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers first baseman and cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez left Thursday night's Freeway Series game with the Angels in the fourth inning after being hit with a pitch in the bottom of the third, but only for precautionary reasons.
Gonzalez was struck in the right elbow by Angels starter Hector Santiago with a two-seam fastball.
"I came out just because it went numb," said Gonzalez, whose elbow was noticeably bruised. "No need to stay out there and risk it getting swollen when I could come in and take care of it right away."
Gonzalez had been scheduled for a third plate appearance but opted instead for ice.
"I would have gotten another at-bat or two," he said. "Another at-bat or two is not going to change my season."
The inside fastball was delivered immediately after Hanley Ramirez belted an opposite-field fastball a batter earlier.
Gonzalez said he expects to play against the Angels again on Friday night "unless something happens overnight."
Dodgers wait to reevaluate Kershaw's status
LOS ANGELES -- There was no change in Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw's status Thursday because he didn't do much over the past 24 hours.
"[Friday] he's allowed to play catch, so we'll see where he's at," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's really on hold."
Kershaw on Wednesday was scratched from starting Sunday night's domestic opener because of an inflamed teres major muscle, which stabilizes the upper arm near the upper back. The left-hander declined to comment before batting practice on Thursday, politely noting that it was time to go onto the field and stretch.
Guerrero sidelined with strained oblique
LOS ANGELES -- The rough Spring Training for Alex Guerrero finished on a painful note. Already optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday, the second baseman suffered a strained muscle on the side of his torso while swinging a bat on Wednesday.
Manager Don Mattingly noted that the strain "is a tough one." He did not put a timetable on how long Guerrero will be out, but it is expected to be several days on the conservative end.
Guerrero signed a four-year, $28 million deal in October and then batted .300 this spring, leading the Dodgers with nine RBIs, but the Cuban defector, who did not play at all last year, struggled defensively making the transition from shortstop to second base.
"You could tell he was rusty and needed to play," Mattingly said. "It was pretty evident he was rusty."
With Guerrero both sidelined and preparing for early work with the Isotopes this summer, Dee Gordon and Justin Turner will be the Dodgers' second basemen.
Will it be a straight platoon situation?
"A little bit," Mattingly said. "If someone takes it over, we'll see. Right now, I'd like to give Dee some shots."
The Dodgers remain intrigued by what the fleet Gordon can do on the basepaths, if he can just reach them enough. He went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot in Game 2 of the Opening Series in Australia.
As for Guerrero, Mattingly praised his work ethic this spring.
"He worked every day," the manager said. "He stayed after it. He worked on his fielding, hitting, holding runners, everything.
"He has the best chance to be successful because of the way he works."
Dodgers' tickets selling at record pace
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers, club president Stan Kasten said on Thursday, will reach 3 million tickets sold before their home opener for the first time in franchise history.
"We couldn't be prouder of that," he said. "It is tremendously gratifying to have that kind of support from your fans."
Following 3.7 million in attendance in 2013, the Dodgers sold the equivalent of 32,000 full season tickets by January. So they siphoned away some tickets normally reserved for game-day sale and, by their April 4 home opener against the Giants, expect to have sold 35,000 season tickets.
Fans also certainly will be pleased to know that Dodger Stadium now has fully operational WiFi, available throughout the ballpark at no cost.
"There's one exception," Kasten said. "The visiting clubhouse."
And no, that's not for competitive advantage reasons. Rather, Kasten noted, the new visiting clubhouse is in a bunker-like area under the stands and "technical reasons" are what's preventing WiFi right now.
"It will be on in a matter of weeks," Kasten assured.
Scott Miller is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.