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Dodgers hand ball to Hill for Cactus opener

@kengurnick
February 22, 2019

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Weather has wreaked havoc on the first two weeks of Spring Training in the desert, but fans attending the opener on Saturday will reap the benefits.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Weather has wreaked havoc on the first two weeks of Spring Training in the desert, but fans attending the opener on Saturday will reap the benefits.

The Dodgers will start Rich Hill instead of non-roster invitee Daniel Corcino for the first game against the Chicago White Sox at 12:05 PT on Saturday. Hill gets the nod because rain curtailed workouts on Friday, when he was scheduled to throw live batting practice.

Hill came to camp having started throwing bullpen sessions in December and is farther along than any Dodgers starting pitcher. He expects to throw one inning against the White Sox and another inning in the bullpen afterward.

“The weather has dictated a lot,” Hill said. “I’ve accumulated a good amount, and I feel great. This is a way in Spring Training to get back on it. And it affords you time if something pops up, you started early enough and you can schedule in two or three days to calm down.”

The 38-year-old Hill is the fourth-oldest active player in the Majors, behind Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki (45), A’s right-hander Fernando Rodney (41) and Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (39).

Corcino is still scheduled to pitch in Saturday’s game, as are Jaime Schultz, Kevin Quackenbush, Josh Sborz, Stetson Allie and Josh Smoker. Hyun-Jin Ryu is still scheduled to start on Sunday against the Angels, with Brock Stewart, Dennis Santana, Adam McCreery, Tony Gonsolin, Mitchell White and Dustin May also listed to pitch.

The only pitcher who threw to hitters on Friday was Joe Kelly, who pitched one inning to Alex Verdugo, Gavin Lux and Cameron Perkins. Walker Buehler tossed his second bullpen of the spring and was joined by White, May, Gonsolin and Joe Broussard.

Around the horn

• Chase Utley, who retired as a player and is beginning a front-office role that has yet to be defined, showed up to camp later than ever in his career “by far,” he said. Utley will work with infielders, among other tasks.

• Also arriving at Camelback Ranch was Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda. The 91-year-old special adviser to the chairman attended his first Dodgers Spring Training in 1949.

• Saturday’s game can be seen live on MLB.TV and will be broadcast by SNLA, AM 570 and KTNQ 1020. SNLA will televise all Saturday and Sunday games throughout Spring Training, as well as the three Freeway Series games with the Angels.

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