SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Six days remain until the Dodgers travel down under to begin the 2014 season against the D-backs in Australia, and there's a lot left for the club to figure out.
Like who's going.
Manager Don Mattingly said the team is still deciding how to use its roster exemptions, noting that how the Dodgers set their roster on March 21 also needs to reflect what's best for the club come March 30, when the L.A. opens its U.S. slate in San Diego.
The Dodgers and D-backs need to make roster decisions two weeks before the other 28 teams because of the Opening Series. Both clubs can take up to 30 players to Australia from which to draw their 25-man Opening Day rosters.
Of those 30, three will be designated as "exempt" before Opening Day and would otherwise be active, be they starting pitchers left behind, players out of options or Rule 5 Draft selections. Corresponding moves would need to be made to make room for their activation. Two other players on the trip will be "extras." They can be players on the 40-man roster with options, or Minor Leaguers.
Clubs use the additional five spots to be covered in the event of an injury, whether it occurs as a result of the exhibition game against Team Australia or the regular-season opener, because it will be impossible to call up a player and transport him to Australia in time for the next game.
The first game of the Opening Series is at 1 a.m. PT on Saturday, March 22, and the finale starts at 7 p.m. PT the same day (Sunday morning in Sydney).
Needless to say, general manager Ned Colletti and the rest of the front office have a lot to ponder.
"Ned and his guys have spent a lot of time on it and we kind of go back and forth," Mattingly said. "We're just trying to figure out the combination of guys we need, really trying to put together our roster for the season, and then how that works for those two games, and then trying to figure it out for starting in San Diego at the same time."
The Dodgers also are drawing up a plan for the starting pitchers who don't travel to Australia. Mattingly said those who stay will throw live sessions and try to stay on their regular schedules.
"That would be the plan: to keep them as steady as possible," Mattingly said.
Mattingly leaves camp due to death in family
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Manager Don Mattingly will miss the Dodgers' Cactus League games Wednesday and Thursday after a death in the family.
Bench coach Tim Wallach will be acting manager against Arizona and Cincinnati, with both being played at Camelback Ranch.
Wednesday's game is expected to mark the return to the mound of Zack Greinke, who left his first start after four pitches on Feb. 27 with a mild calf strain.
Mattingly is expected to return in time to manage Friday's game against the Cubs at new Cubs Park.
Greinke poised to return to mound vs. D-backs
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Zack Greinke took part in pitchers fielding practice and other drills Tuesday morning at Camelback Ranch. If the Dodgers right-hander feels good on Wednesday morning, he'll start that afternoon's Cactus League game against the D-backs.
"If he can cross those off the list today, we're going to try him in a regular game," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "If not, we'll be a little more protective and use him on the backfields."
Greinke is returning from a mild calf strain he sustained in his first Cactus League start.
Zach Lee will start if Mattingly decides to hold Greinke back.
Replay confirms triple for Dodgers' Guerrero
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Instant replay confirmed the call on Dodgers second baseman Alex Guerrero's ninth-inning triple in Tuesday's game between the Dodgers and Royals at Surprise Stadium.
Guerrero led off the top of the ninth with a blast to center field. The ball hit off the top of the center-field wall, was fielded by Jarrod Dyson and thrown in while Guerrero stopped at third.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly came on to ask whether the ball cleared the wall for a homer, at which point the umpires decided to review the call, which was confirmed.
"Just home run or not," Mattingly said of his question to the umpires. "I feel it's one of those that are close enough. It's hard to see the rail [because] it's the same color and we couldn't really tell."
Gordon gets a break in pursuit of second-base gig
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Dee Gordon was originally scheduled to travel for the Dodgers' exhibition game against the Royals on Tuesday but instead received a day off.
Justin Turner instead got the start, with Alex Guerrero coming off the bench.
Gordon and Guerrero are the two leading candidates for the Dodgers' opening at second base, but manager Don Mattingly said the switch had nothing to do with the competition.
"We make those lineups so far out, as you get to them you're kind of adjusting all the time," Mattingly said.
Mattingly said Gordon was available to play in an intrasquad game at Camelback Ranch, but it wasn't a requirement.
• Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp did not participate in any games Tuesday after playing in intrasquad contests the previous two days. Kemp (left ankle) worked out with the rest of the Dodgers and has had no setbacks, Mattingly said.
• Reliever Brian Wilson was fine Tuesday after concern arose in the eighth inning of Monday's exhibition against the A's. Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, catcher Miguel Olivo, assistant trainer Greg Harrell and Mattingly went to the mound after noticing something with Wilson's delivery, but Wilson remained in the game and reached his 15-pitch limit.
"Willy was good today," Mattingly said Tuesday. "Nothing's came back. [He] just felt he couldn't get it going yesterday."
• Right-hander Red Patterson was reassigned to Minor League camp on Tuesday.