Kyle Muller looks to set the tone for the Athletics in his spring debut

Athletics lefty Kyle Muller takes the hill today against the Dodgers

Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics
Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Athletics are set to take on the Dodgers in their second spring training affair at 12:05pm PST today. Lefty Kyle Muller will get the nod in his first appearance of the spring.

Muller has a lot to live up to, coming over to Oakland from Atlanta in the Sean Murphy deal back in the 2022-2023 offseason. He struggled last season, pitching to a 7.60 ERA in his 77 major-league innings while posting a below average 15.1% strikeout rate.

Muller was shifted to a bullpen role after struggling in the first half of 2023 but will work to regain confidence and build trust with manager Mark Kotsay and the Athletics' front office.

Athletics prospect Darell Hernaiz gets the start at shortstop this afternoon, while non-roster invitee Max Schuemann earns his first appearance at second base.

Esteury Ruiz will get the day off after homering yesterday, and Tyler Soderstrom will look to make his mark behind the plate in place of starter Shea Langeliers.

The Dodgers counter with righty Kyle Hurt, a 25 year old prospect looking to make an impact at the major league level in 2024. Hurt came up for 2 innings last season after pitching through Double and Triple-A.

In total, Hurt threw 92 innings in 2023 to the tune of a 3.91 ERA and a 3.45 K/BB rate. Baseball America has Hurt as the Dodgers 6th ranked prospect heading into 2024. He has a high-90's fastball with a nasty changeup and a strong slider and curveball combo that have gotten plenty of strikeouts in the minors.

Both Shohei Ohtani and Mookie Betts are absent from today's lineup. The former is still working his way back from offseason elbow surgery while Betts receives a normal off-day.

We're still early on in spring training but there are a number of guys in the lineup today in the midst of a position battle. In addition to those mentioned above, Miguel Andujar and Jordan Diaz have work to do if they want to see regular playing time in Oakland this year, while Lawrence Butler will look to prove he has what it takes to earn a spot on the opening day roster.