Milton Earns First Start Against Rockie

Dodger starter Eric Milton earned his first start of the spring today after allowing just three runs over 8.2 innings in four games. The left-hander has struck out seven and walked just two. Milton has not pitched in a big league game since 2007 after undergoing Tommy John surgery on June 15, 2007.

  Last year, the Pennsylvania native signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees in July and was assigned to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes Barre. However, Milton never made it into a game, while continuing his rehabilitation. In 2001, Milton won a career-high 15 games and won 14 as recently as 2004 with the Phillies.

The Dodgers will face the Colorado Rockies in the second of their three meetings in the Cactus League this spring. On Feb. 28, the Dodgers pounded the Rockies, 13-5 at Tucson's Hi-Corbett Field. The squads meet for the final time in Cactus League action on March 26 out in Tucson.

FIELD DAY: Dodger outfielder Manny Ramirez will make his spring debut in left field today. On Friday, the 12-time All-Star and future Hall of Famer went 1-for-1 with two walks as the designated hitter against the Rangers in his spring debut.     

LOOK AT THE ROSTER: The Dodgers currently have 54 players in big league camp. That total excludes the injured infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and includes right-hander Jonathan Broxton and infielder Luis Maza, both of whom are away from camp participating in the WBC. Among the 54 players are 27 pitchers, including 15 right-handers and 12 left-handers. There are 15 non-roster invitees still in camp, including nine pitchers.   

ON THE BRINK: The United States' WBC squad was buried by Puerto Rico, 11-1 last night. The U.S. will play an elimination game against the Netherlands tonight in Florida. Dodger closer Jonathan Broxton did not pitch in the blow out and has tossed 2.0 scoreless frames in two appearances this tournament. The semi-finals and finals of the World Baseball Classic will be played at Dodger Stadium from March 21-23 and tickets can still be purchased by going to www,worldbaseballclassic.com or dodgers.com.

TOEING THE RUBBER: Following Eric Milton to the mound will be RHP Claudio Vargas, LHP Hong-Chih Kuo, LHP Brian Mazone, and LHP Stephen Randolph.   

CACTUS LEAGUE LEADERS: Despite going 0-for-5 yesterday, Dodger infielder Juan Castro leads the Cactus League with a .444 average (12-for-27) and is tied for second with five doubles. The native of Mexico is slugging .741 and owns a .467 on-base percentage this spring. Elsewhere, Juan Pierre leads all Cactus leaguers with six stolen bases and Jason Repko is tied for second with four thefts. Outfielder Xavier Paul is hitting .394 (13-for-33) and his 10 RBI are tied for the most in the Cactus league.    

SPLITTY: On Monday, the Dodgers have their first and only split-squad games of the spring when half the team will travel to Oakland's Papago Field, while the rest will head over to play Seattle in neighboring Peoria. RHP Hiroki Kuroda will start against the Mariners and RHP Jason Schmidt will twirl against the A's.    

TUBE TIME: Today's game will be broadcast back in Los Angeles on KCAL-9 by Hall of Famer Vin Scully. KCAL kicked off their fourth season as a Dodger broadcast partner back on March 1, when they televised the first-ever game at the Ballpark at Camelback Ranch – Glendale. Scully is entering his 60th year as the "Voice of the Dodgers," and a big Camelback Ranch welcome goes out to him as well as veteran Dodger producer Brad Zager, who arrived in Arizona last night.    

STAR-STUDDED EVENING: Outfielder Matt Kemp and his agent Dave Stewart hosted a casino night (mainly a celebrity poker tournament) yesterday at Phoenix's Penske Racing Museum with all proceeds benefitting Talk About Curing Autism (TACA). Kemp, whose 14-year-old half-brother Carlton is autistic, has joined Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) as a spokesperson. The event featured teammates Chad Billingsley, Russell Martin, Orlando Hudson, Juan Pierre, Stephen Randolph and James Loney. Also in attendance were Donovan McNabb, Danica Patrick, Torii Hunter, Eric Chavez, and Rickey Henderson. More information can be found at www.tacanow.org. Not to go unnoticed, Orlando Hudson, whose cousin was born with the disorder, has his own foundation called Curing Autism Through Change and Hope (CATCH).   

UPCOMING PITCHING PROBABLES
Monday, March 16 at Oakland: RHP Jason Schmidt, LHP Shawn Estes, LHP Victor Garate, LHP Brent Leach.  

Monday, March 16 at Seattle: RHP Hiroki Kuroda, RHP Jeff Weaver, RHP Guillermo Mota, RHP Cory Wade. 

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories