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Dodgers assign Venditte to Minors camp

Garcia won't be ready for Opening Day, could begin year on DL; Barnes hits first spring home run; Wood gets final tuneup
MLB.com @kengurnick

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers assigned switch-pitcher Pat Venditte to Minor League camp on Saturday and manager Dave Roberts said reliever Yimi Garcia's recovery from Tommy John surgery will not allow him to make the Opening Day roster.

If the Dodgers stick with plans for an eight-man bullpen, their pitching staff appears set. The starters are Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers assigned switch-pitcher Pat Venditte to Minor League camp on Saturday and manager Dave Roberts said reliever Yimi Garcia's recovery from Tommy John surgery will not allow him to make the Opening Day roster.

If the Dodgers stick with plans for an eight-man bullpen, their pitching staff appears set. The starters are Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

View Full Game Coverage

The relievers are Kenley Jansen, Tony Cingrani, Scott Alexander, Pedro Baez, Josh Fields, Ross Stripling, J.T. Chargois and Wilmer Font (who is out of options).

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Font pitched three innings in a Minor League game on Saturday. Roberts said if he makes the big league club, it would be as a long reliever. Font will make the trip to Southern California, but Garcia, who allowed a home run in one inning against the White Sox, will not. He could open the season on the disabled list or at Triple-A. Saturday was his first appearance since March 18.

"Is he close? Absolutely," Roberts said of Garcia. "Yimi is healthy, but we are trying to be mindful of him because he hasn't pitched in a big league game in two years. We want to build him up and do what we can to get him back to what he was. To run the play out in his rehab is the right thing to do."

Barnes better
A truly forgettable camp ended on an upbeat note for catcher Austin Barnes, who slugged a three-run homer, walked and stole a base in Saturday's 7-3 getaway-day loss to the White Sox.

Video: CWS@LAD: Barnes cranks three-run homer to left field

For Barnes, who came into the game batting .100 (3-for-30) with one RBI, it was his first extra-base hit of the spring and first stolen base. Barnes said he and hitting coach Turner Ward made an adjustment in his setup at the plate that improved his visibility of pitches and better contact is the result.

"You like to go out and succeed, but I've had to take it as it is, can't do much about it now," said Barnes, who also had to overcome reporting to camp with a sore throwing elbow, which he said is fully healed. "Better now than in the season."

Barnes' home run landed in the Dodgers' bullpen, where prankster teammates retrieved the ball, wrote the particulars on it ("#1, 3/24/18, vs. Hector Santiago") and presented it to Barnes after the game.

"Hopefully, that hit gets him untracked and translates to confidence," said Roberts.

Meanwhile, the catcher who figures to get the bulk of the work over Barnes this year, Yasmani Grandal, hit what should have been a home run down the left-field foul line, but plate umpire Ryan Additon called it foul.

Alex Wood pitched four solid innings, and one not so solid, against the White Sox, charged with four runs (three earned) in five innings. Wood said he was happy with his stuff until the fifth inning, which he complicated with a pair of errors.

Video: CWS@LAD: Wood fans Skole to rack up fifth strikeout

"Threw four really good [innings], execution great, built the pitch count up," said Roberts. "I think that Alex had a great spring."

Injury reaction
Roberts said his Opening Day lineup will probably change with the injury to Giants' Opening Day starter Madison Bumgarner, but he wouldn't provide details. He did, however, address Bumgarner's injury.

"To lose a player this late, it's a big blow," Roberts said. "And obviously [Giants' injured No. 3 starter Jeff] Samardzija as well. But we lost an All-Star third baseman [Justin Turner, broken wrist]. No one's going to feel sorry for us. Our guys are ready and I'm more focused on our team."

Camp battle
Joc Pederson started in left field and went 0-for-2 with a walk and strikeout; Andrew Toles started in center field and went 1-for-4; Trayce Thompson started in right field and went 1-for-4; Kyle Farmer started at third base and went 0-for-2 with a walk and strikeout.

Injury update
Tom Koehler (sprained right shoulder capsule) and Turner (fractured left wrist) will return to Southern California with the club and receive treatment from Major League trainers. Roberts said as their baseball activities resume, they will return to the club's Camelback Ranch training facility.

Up next
Kenta Maeda starts for the Dodgers on Sunday against Parker Bridwell and the Angels in Anaheim. First pitch is 6:07 p.m. PT. Fans can watch on MLB.TV, or on MLB Network.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers