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Font to start building case in spring opener

Right-hander seeking roster spot at Dodgers camp 'in any role'
Special to MLB.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With a handful of pitchers looking to position themselves well on the Dodgers' depth chart behind the five who will make up the rotation, Wilmer Font sees Friday as a big day in his spring audition.

Font, a 27-year-old Venezuelan in his second season with the organization, will get the ball at 12:05 p.m. PT when the Dodgers open their Cactus League schedule against the White Sox.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With a handful of pitchers looking to position themselves well on the Dodgers' depth chart behind the five who will make up the rotation, Wilmer Font sees Friday as a big day in his spring audition.

Font, a 27-year-old Venezuelan in his second season with the organization, will get the ball at 12:05 p.m. PT when the Dodgers open their Cactus League schedule against the White Sox.

"The game on Friday is a huge game for me," Font said Wednesday morning. "In that game I can show what I can do and how I can help the team."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Font fared well at Triple-A Oklahoma City last season, compiling a 3.42 ERA and 178 strikeouts in 134 1/3 innings. Things did not go as well as a September callup. He had a 17.18 ERA in three relief appearances with the Dodgers.

"I was working as a starter all year. Then in the bullpen I had to prepare quickly," Font said. "It was a big difference. But I can handle that now.

"The ball is coming pretty good from my hand and [with] my secondary pitches, everything is great. I'm excited for Friday."

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Font is expected to pitch two innings against the White Sox. If he is to make the team out of Spring Training, it likely would have to be in the bullpen, which manager Dave Roberts said could be an option.

"I can help the team in any role: long reliever, one-inning guy, starter," Font said. "I know I can make the team."

Font came up in the Rangers' organization and made five appearances combined in 2012 and '13. He spent the '15 and '16 seasons pitching in independent leagues.

Font on Wednesday morning spent some time watching Orel Hershiser demonstrate different offspeed mechanics to a handful of pitchers in a corner of the team's Camelback Ranch clubhouse.

"He knows a lot about pitching, a lot about baseball," Font said. "It's an honor for me to watch him."

Seager to DH this weekend
As he continues to work his way back from elbow and back injuries that sidelined him at times near the end of last season, shortstop Corey Seager will be the team's designed hitter both Friday and Saturday, Roberts said.

Seager continues to work through his throwing program, and there is every expectation he will be more than ready come Opening Day.

"We're really taking it slow," Roberts said.

Video: Rizzo updates Seager, Wood injures on 12:25 Live

Always versatile
While Chris Taylor is slated to be the team's everyday center fielder after his breakout 2017 season, he will also see time at shortstop and second base this spring, Roberts said.

Last season, Taylor played 49 games in center, 48 in left, 22 at second, 14 at shortstop and eight at third base.

Chris Thomas is a contributor to MLB.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Wilmer Font