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Grandal, Barnes could platoon behind plate

MLB.com @kengurnick

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- On the day Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported, manager Dave Roberts implied that Yasmani Grandal hasn't lost his starting backstop job to Austin Barnes in 2018, even though he did last postseason. It sounds like a platoon.

"Yasmani had more playing time and at-bats last season, and I see that again, but Austin has earned the opportunities," Roberts said.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- On the day Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported, manager Dave Roberts implied that Yasmani Grandal hasn't lost his starting backstop job to Austin Barnes in 2018, even though he did last postseason. It sounds like a platoon.

"Yasmani had more playing time and at-bats last season, and I see that again, but Austin has earned the opportunities," Roberts said.

Roberts added that outfielder Andrew Toles, returning from major knee surgery, will be eased into spring action as a precautionary measure, but is considered recovered.

Video: Austin Barnes is the No. 6 catcher right now

"He's got some catching up to do," Roberts said.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Roberts also said the club is "counting on" pitcher Julio Urias to return from shoulder surgery, but he wouldn't offer a timetable. Others in the organization believe Urias might be game ready around midseason, but he is not expected to throw off a mound during Spring Training.

• The Dodgers haven't announced it yet, but right-handed pitcher Brian Schlitter has a locker in the clubhouse as a non-roster invitee.

He's a 32-year-old right-handed reliever who made 61 appearances with the Cubs in 2014, last appeared in the Major Leagues in '15 and played last year in Japan.

• Among position players already working out on Tuesday were Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Matt Kemp, Logan Forsythe, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez and Yasiel Puig.

Roberts said Kemp appears to be in "amazing" shape and predicts "a huge uptick" in his defensive metrics.

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

Los Angeles Dodgers