Casey Blake is batting second in return from disabled list

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Casey Blake is off the disabled list and in the Dodgers’ lineup for today’s game after beginning the season on the sidelines with a back injury suffered in the middle of spring training.

Blake is starting at third base and batting second, and his return also means the Dodgers have shifted Juan Uribe to second base while putting Jamey Carroll back on the bench.

Don Mattingley’s decision to bat Blake second is an odd one, as he had a below-average .320 on-base percentage last year and has a modest .336 career OBP. Blake has hit second in 17 percent of his career plate appearances, but hasn’t done so regularly since 2007 and has a .317 OBP in that spot. And needless to say he’s not a particularly speedy runner at age 37.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

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Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.