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Dodgers Spring Training 2012: Chris Withrow, Alex Castellanos Among First Roster Cuts

One night after Clayton Kershaw looked in midseason form by striking out six in four scoreless innings at Goodyear Ballpark against the Cincinnati Reds, the Los Angeles Dodgers trimmed their roster on Thursday morning, cutting nine players from major league camp.

Outfielders Scott Van Slyke and Alfredo Silverio, second baseman and outfielder Alex Castellanos, and pitchers Michael Antonini, Stephen Fife, Josh Wall, and Chris Withrow were optioned to minor league camp, while third baseman and outfielder Russ Mitchell and pitcher Shane Lindsay, both non-roster invitees to camp, were assigned to the minor league side.

March 15 was the date by which players on the 40-man roster needed to be optioned to avoid having a certain percentage of their salary guaranteed, and the ones sent down had no realistic shot at making the club. Asked if he thought the players in question saw these moves coming, manager Don Mattingly said, "You never know what guys think. When I played I didn't realize there was a date there."

There are 53 players remaining in big league camp for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers host the Kansas City Royals at Camelback Ranch on Thursday afternoon, with Chad Billingsley facing Danny Duffy on the mound. The Dodgers announced on Thursday that their home games on Saturday night against the San Francisco Giants and Sunday afternoon against the Angels have sold out.

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