Suns Host Dodger Exhibition Today

The Jacksonville Suns will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in an exhibition game today (Tuesday) at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville at 1:05 pm.

This will mark the first time a major league team has played at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and the first time the Dodgers have visited Jacksonville since the Suns became the team's double-A affiliate in 2001.

Prospects who have played for the double-A affiliate in Jacksonville will be grouped together and will wear Suns' uniforms.

Top prospect Chad Billingsley, who was 13-6 and led Jacksonville to the Southern League championship last season, will be the starting pitcher.
In addition, it will perhaps be the final time 6-foot-6 Joel Guzman plays shortstop.

Manager Grady Little said following Tuesday's intrasquad game at Jacksonville, the Dodgers will start the process of finding a new position.

Guzman's options are the corner infield (1B-3B) and outfield RF-LF) spots. Guzman is considered the most talented Dodgers prospect without a specific defensive position since the arrival of Pedro Guerrero, also a Domini an native, almost 30 years ago. new position.

The Dodgers are hopin he becomes comfortable a his new position before the season starts, They feel that at 6-6, he is probably not a shortstop but his bat insures him a place -- any place -- in The Show as soon as he matures just bit more.

Guzman played short, first and third base in winter ball. Little said he is not worried about promoting Guzman to Los Angeles at a position where he's a relative novice.

"When we bring him up, we'll have a lot of confidence that he'll drive in more than he'll let in," he said. "If he can hit, we'll find a place for him to play."

"We're very excited to have the Dodgers coming to Jacksonville," said Peter Bragan, Jr. "It's great for Suns fans and baseball fans in general to have the opportunity to see big-leaguers in their backyard and I think our boys will give the big club a run for their money. It will be future Dodgers against current Dodgers and will be a great day for baseball fans everywhere."

"We want to make it as easy as possible for all of our fans to enjoy the excitement of Major League Baseball at a price that is affordable for everyone," added Suns General Manager Kirk Goodman.

The Jacksonville Suns, the Double-A Southern League affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, open the 2006 Southern League season on April 6 vs. the Chattanooga Lookouts.

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