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Stomach bug sidelines Seager on Saturday

Dodgers' DH returns to action Sunday against Mariners
MLB.com @kengurnick

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Designated hitter Corey Seager, already on a reduced schedule as he rebuilds throwing arm strength, was a late scratch from Saturday's starting lineup against the Giants because of a stomach illness, possibly food poisoning.

Seager was back in the lineup at DH on Sunday, when Clayton Kershaw made his Cactus League debut on the road against the Mariners.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Designated hitter Corey Seager, already on a reduced schedule as he rebuilds throwing arm strength, was a late scratch from Saturday's starting lineup against the Giants because of a stomach illness, possibly food poisoning.

Seager was back in the lineup at DH on Sunday, when Clayton Kershaw made his Cactus League debut on the road against the Mariners.

There is no target date for Seager to resume play at shortstop. He continues a throwing program after rehabbing a late-season elbow injury and choosing not to undergo surgery.

Meanwhile, Yasiel Puig started and went 0-for-3 after missing Friday's Cactus League opener with hip tightness resulting from breaking in new shoes.

Roberts also said left-handed reliever Tony Cingrani, limited the past three days with shoulder tightness, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday.

The Dodgers lost both split-squad games on Saturday, 9-3, to the Giants at Camelback Ranch, and 8-4, to the Royals at Surprise.

Catch this: Kyle Farmer was a catcher mostly by label last year. Even though he made the Dodgers' postseason roster as a third catcher, he never got behind the plate except to warm up pitchers between innings.

He spent six weeks with the club in the regular season, but you had to be alert to notice him behind the plate in only seven Major League innings. Mostly Farmer was a pinch-hitter, notably delivering a walk-off pinch-double in his Major League debut against the Giants on July 30.

Video: Must C Clutch: Farmer walks-off in first career AB

Roberts said Farmer's body wasn't pliable enough for him to handle low pitches. It's hard to be a catcher when you can't squat.

"It was more of a stab at the low ball," said Roberts. "Now, he can work underneath the baseball. His hands really play and he's a good, accurate thrower. It was the receiving that was in question for us."

Farmer said he watched film of catchers Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes, realizing that their framing skills were tied to their ability to crouch into positions Farmer couldn't copy. So, with the help of strength coach Brandon McDaniel, Farmer began a stretching and pilates routine.

"It has everything to do with pitch framing," Farmer said. "Now getting my hips lower to the ground, I can get my hips up to the ball. To get where I want to be, you have to be great [framing] and my hips allow me to get in that position."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Farmer said the flexibility has also resulted in more power at the plate and improved his running speed. He went 2-for-3 and caught six innings in the loss to the Giants.

Special project: A group of pitching coaches and the big names from the front office headed to a back field to watch live batting practice on Saturday, but pitcher Henry Owens said he didn't even notice the audience: he was focused on the catcher's target.

Owens -- claimed off waivers from Arizona, which claimed him off waivers from Boston -- is an early-camp project, as the Dodgers try to help the left-handed former first-round Draft pick recapture his can't-miss promise.

The Red Sox tried to turn him into a sidearmer last year, but he walked 115 in 126 Minor League innings. He's now throwing over the top again, trying to get the feel of a new curveball grip.

"I was able to get the grip comfortably," Owens said. "I'm getting acclimated over the top again. Throwing sidearm my command was worse, but my body felt weird too; my back got sore. Never had that throwing over the top."

Ace Day: Dodgers Opening Day starter Kershaw is slated for his first start of the spring on Sunday against the Mariners in Peoria. Matt Kemp returned to the lineup in left field after getting Saturday's games off.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. Listen to his podcast.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Tony Cingrani, Kyle Farmer, Henry Owens, Corey Seager