Dodgers starting lineup for spring opener vs Padres keeps shortstop's return on hold

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Spring training games are upon us, and the Dodgers will take the field for the first time in over four months today. They'll face the San Diego Padres at the Friars' facility in Peoria, AZ, before heading to Camelback tomorrow for their home opener.

The most fearsome of the Dodgers' heavy hitters have yet to come — Shohei Ohtani won't be present in the first weeks of games, and may not appear until Opening Day in Seoul on March 20. However, we'll get a show today from a few Dodger mainstays, a few fresh faces, and a couple of players who may be fighting for their roster spots. In the latter group is Gavin Stone, who will kick things off as LA's starter after a rough go of things last season.

Dodgers starting lineup for spring opener vs Padres (February 22, 2024)


Mookie Betts (R)


Chris Taylor (R)


James Outman (L)


Teoscar Hernández (R)


Austin Barnes (R)


Gavin Lux (L)


Chris Owings (R)


Andy Pages (R)


Kevin Padlo (R)


Gavin Stone


There are a few surprises here: Chris Taylor will occupy shortstop while Gavin Lux DHs, which could raise some eyebrows about the team's confidence in him at short coming off of injury. Spring training is the time to get experimental with things, though, and they may just want to ease Lux in a bit after tearing his ACL in 2023.

Mookie Betts, James Outman, and Teoscar Hernández feature toward the top of the lineup as the team's biggest stars, playing the positions they'll take throughout the season. Further down, Austin Barnes will catch instead of Will Smith; highly touted prospect Andy Pages will fight for a bench spot, and non-roster invitees Chris Owings and Kevin Padlo will look to at least make an impression that will keep them in the organization.

A few other notable names very well may be cycled into the game as the innings wear on. Top prospects Hunter Feduccia and Dalton Rushing could sub in as catchers and offseason acquisition from the Yankees Trey Sweeney could play at left/short. Ricky Vanasco, Stephen Gonsalves, and Alex Vesia may also appear in relief.