SAN DIEGO -- The schedule says "day off" for the Dodgers on Monday, but there will be some interesting evaluations taking place.
A simulated game will be held at Petco Park, with Josh Beckett pitching to Matt Kemp, among others. Both are eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, Kemp from ankle and shoulder surgery, Beckett from a right thumb contusion.
Both might be back in the Major Leagues sooner than originally expected. Or not.
Also on Monday, Dan Haren will throw a bullpen session, two days after a rough outing against the Angels, and only two days before his scheduled start Wednesday in San Diego. Bullpen sessions usually are three days before games, but the schedule will force Haren to pitch a day earlier.
In Beckett's case, as the fifth starter, he wasn't going to be needed until the middle of April. But with Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list and Hyun-Jin Ryu (supposedly healed from a toe injury) pitching two of the first three games, it sounded like manager Don Mattingly was preparing to move up that timetable when asked if Beckett's sim game was another in a series of efforts to build up his pitch count.
"It's a tuneup, not a buildup," said Mattingly. "I don't know when we're going to need him. If we get to the point where we don't need him, he'll pitch in a Minor League game."
Kemp has been playing regularly in Minor League games in Arizona, but the staff hasn't seen him play in more than two weeks. And he hasn't had the benefit of facing Major League pitchers.
General manager Ned Colletti, in an MLB Network Radio interview Sunday, made it clear that even if Kemp's completely healed from his surgeries, it doesn't mean he will go right into the lineup.
"Perhaps," Colletti said, when asked by Jim Duquette if Kemp would return by Friday. "It's becoming more and more a baseball decision and less and less a medical decision. Medical has all but signed off on it. And so when Donnie and Mark McGwire and John Valentin, our assistant hitting coach, when they're satisfied with where he's at -- again, he's been in our Minor League camp in Spring Training so he hasn't been in any Major League Spring Training games.
"So it's a little bit different, not that Major League Spring Training is really the litmus test for anything, but he's had a lot of at-bats and he's going to continue. He stayed in Arizona this week to continue to have as many at-bats as possible before they break, and we hope to see him in the early part of the month."
Dodgers set roster; Kershaw among six to DL
SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers announced the 25-man roster for Sunday night's resumption of play, with no surprises.
Clayton Kershaw is one of six players on the disabled list, including pitchers Chad Billingsley, Scott Elbert, Onelki Garcia and Josh Beckett. Elbert and Garcia are on the 60-day list; the others are on the 15-day list.
Beckett and outfielder Matt Kemp are eligible to return Friday; Kershaw is eligible April 8.
To clear the 25th roster spot, the Dodgers officially optioned right-handed reliever Jose Dominguez to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Starting pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, Paul Maholm.
Relievers: Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson, Chris Perez, J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, Chris Withrow, Brandon League, Jamey Wright.
Catchers: A.J. Ellis, Drew Butera.
Infielders: Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe, Justin Turner.
Outfielders: Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig, Scott Van Slyke, Mike Baxter.
Utility: Chone Figgins.
Mattingly comfortable with expanded replay system
SAN DIEGO -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he was ready for his club's first regular-season game under Major League Baseball's expanded replay rules, after playing the two Australia games without it.
"I feel OK with it," said Mattingly. "It seems the technology is so good and so fast, there's no reason to rush on the field and yell and scream. It allows you to look in the back, and by the time you have to challenge or not challenge, you know the answer."
Dodgers video coordinator John Pratt will be the communicator from the video equipment in the clubhouse to the dugout, via telephone, to inform the bench when an umpire's call possibly is wrong. Then it's up to Mattingly to decide whether to use his one challenge for the game before the seventh inning. If the challenge is upheld, the club receives one additional challenge, but never more than a total of two in a game.
"The only question is, the only gray area, is it worth it in the second or third innings?" Mattingly said of the managerial strategy. "That's the only thing up in the air. Who's coming up? How many outs? If Hanley [Ramirez is] coming up, it might be worth breaking open a game. If it's [Josh] Beckett or a pitcher with two outs, it might not be worth it. It depends on the game and who you've got coming up.
"As far as the mechanics of it, we don't really know. We had a few games to try it and I'm fairly comfortable with the way it works. I'm confident in the technology. I'm sure there will be a few tweaks as it goes along. We'll still be able to argue and get our point across. But you can't have everything. You want to get the call right. The biggest argument would be if the [umpire] wouldn't review after the seventh inning. That would seem to be silly."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.