|5/24||Dodgers vs St. Louis||6:30p/7:10p|
|5/25||Dodgers vs St. Louis||3:30p/4:15p|
|5/26||Dodgers vs St. Louis||12:30p/1:10p|
|5/27||Dodgers vs Anaheim||4:30p/5:10p|
|5/28||Dodgers vs Anaheim||6:30p/7:10p|
|5/29||Dodgers @ Anaheim||6:30p/7:05p|
|5/30||Dodgers @ Anaheim||6:30p/7:05p|
|5/31||Dodgers @ Colorado||5p/5:40p|
|6/1||Dodgers @ Colorado||12:30p/1:10p|
|6/2||Dodgers @ Colorado||12:30p/1:10p|
GLENDALE, Ariz. -– An estimated crowd of 23,000 at the recent FanFest, and 27,000 season tickets already sold, speak to the pent-up enthusiasm buzzing around the reborn Dodgers.
On Tuesday, the excitement shifts to Arizona, where Dodgers pitchers -- plenty of them -- and catchers report to Spring Training.
The first battery workout at Camelback Ranch-Glendale will be Wednesday. Position players report Friday, with the first full-squad workout scheduled for Saturday.
"Yes, if everything goes right we could be better than anyone," club president Stan Kasten told MLB Network Radio. "But we have question marks like every team has question marks. We have to see if we can avoid injuries. Still, it's very exciting that we can begin the season thinking we really do have a chance, for real. You don't have to imagine a lot of things happening for it to result in a postseason team, if we can get some breaks to go our way."
After spending $200 million for winter rotation upgrades Zack Greinke and Korean sensation Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers open camp with eight well-paid starting pitchers –- Clayton Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly.
Combined, they will earn $90 million in 2013, although at least one of them figures to earn his pay elsewhere via trade once the health of Billingsley (torn elbow ligament) and Lilly (shoulder surgery) is established.
With Kershaw confident that last year's hip impingement is no longer an issue, the only other question with him is how massive his contract extension will be. General manager Ned Colletti has hinted that talks will begin soon, but "quietly."
Speaking of contract extensions, manager Don Mattingly doesn't have one, which will be another spring storyline. Unlike last Spring Training, when the team fought the distractions of a bankruptcy auction to find a new owner, this camp opens with high expectations and the pressure that goes with them.
Along with his future, Mattingly will have plenty of baseball issues on his plate. The obvious one will be the handling of Capuano, Harang and Lilly, all members of last year's rotation, all seemingly squeezed out of roles with the arrivals of Beckett, Greinke and Ryu.
The bullpen appears nearly as loaded, with Brandon League locked up for three years and $22.5 million to close, backed up by Kenley Jansen coming off heart surgery, Ronald Belisario arriving early again and J.P. Howell coming in with Scott Elbert out indefinitely following a second elbow operation.