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Dodgers will keep bench players busy early

Barnes slated to be in Saturday's lineup; Pederson to get Sunday start
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have only four bench players, but manager Dave Roberts said they'll all see action in the first week of the season.

With Logan Forsythe taking over third base for the injured Justin Turner, Enrique Hernandez and Chase Utley started the first two games at second base. Roberts said Joc Pederson will start Sunday and maybe Monday. Second catcher Austin Barnes will start Saturday and maybe Sunday. Roberts wasn't specific on a start for utility man Kyle Farmer, but said he will get him in there "at some point as well."

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LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have only four bench players, but manager Dave Roberts said they'll all see action in the first week of the season.

With Logan Forsythe taking over third base for the injured Justin Turner, Enrique Hernandez and Chase Utley started the first two games at second base. Roberts said Joc Pederson will start Sunday and maybe Monday. Second catcher Austin Barnes will start Saturday and maybe Sunday. Roberts wasn't specific on a start for utility man Kyle Farmer, but said he will get him in there "at some point as well."

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"Depending on each game, just because he's not starting doesn't mean he's not in there," Roberts said of Pederson, selected for the fourth outfield spot over Andrew Toles. "With Joc, we trust the defense and the bat quality has been better than the stats show."

Roberts said while Turner is sidelined by a fractured left wrist, Hernandez would likely get "two-thirds to three-fourths" of the playing time at second base. That is a tribute to Hernandez's improvement batting against right-handed pitchers, Roberts said, as well as Utley's skill in producing a quality late-inning at-bat, as he did in the seventh inning Thursday with a pinch-hit single against Cory Gearrin. Pederson will mostly spell Matt Kemp in left field.

"I want to keep Chase involved and relevant," said Roberts. "You've got to get him starts. His at-bat quality is a huge weapon to have. We want to give [Hernandez] a good runway, but he'll be back in there [Saturday]."

• Turner said the discomfort in his left wrist lessens each day, but he isn't sure when he will be able to resume baseball activities with it. When he's not receiving treatment or doing strengthening and range-of-motion exercises with his left arm, he's doing sprints and throwing to keep his arm loose. Turner said he still doesn't have full range of motion when he rotates the wrist.

• The Dodgers have the smallest signing-bonus pool in baseball for the June Draft at $5,265,800 and the smallest first-round pick assigned value at $2,275,800. The club also comes out of the penalty box for international signings with a bonus pool of $4,983,500 after being barred from participating in signings above $200,000 last year for exceeding past international bonus pools.

• The Cubs claimed right-handed pitcher Cory Mazzoni off waivers from the Dodgers, three days after the Dodgers claimed Mazzoni off waivers from the Cubs.

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Austin Barnes, Kyle Farmer, Enrique Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Chase Utley