Dodgers spring training schedule: Sizing up the starting rotation

Hyun-jin Ryu will start somewhere for the Dodgers on Mar. 28, but we don't know whether it will be in Anaheim or Rancho Cucamonga. - Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports

A look at the remaining spring schedule for the Dodgers, and what it means for the starting rotation heading into the regular season.

After 35 days at spring training, the Dodgers only have nine days left of games in the Cactus League before breaking camp on Mar. 27 and heading back to Los Angeles.

Here is a look at the remaining spring schedule for the Dodgers, with probable starters for the remaining games (all games 1 p.m. PT unless otherwise noted):

  • Tue., Mar. 19 vs. Oakland: Chris Capuano
  • Wed., Mar. 20 at Kansas City: Aaron Harang starts in Surprise, with Zack Greinke pitching a minor league game at Camelback Ranch.
  • Thu., Mar. 21 vs. Cubs: Stephen Fife makes the bus trip to Tucson.
  • Fri., Mar. 22 vs. Cincinnati: Clayton Kershaw starts against the Reds, and Ted Lilly will pitch on the back fields.
  • Sat., Mar. 23 vs. White Sox: Hyun-jin Ryu and Chad Billingsley are both scheduled to pitch Saturday, though it's unclear whether both will pitch in the game against Chicago. One might pitch on the back fields to both stay on rotation and be able to build up innings.
  • Sun., Mar. 24 at Oakland: Josh Beckett makes his final Cactus League start as the Dodgers make their first trip to play in Phoenix of the spring.
  • Mon., Mar. 25 at Kansas City (6:05 p.m.): This is Greinke's day to pitch, but he might have to be limited to the back fields as to ensure the Dodgers can back date a possible disabled list stint to Mar. 22 if needed.
  • Tue., Mar. 26 vs. Colorado (7:05 p.m.): Depending on how the Dodgers decide to use Greinke, this could either be Harang on five days rest or a bullpen game.
  • Wed., Mar. 27 at Seattle: Kershaw wraps up the Cactus League with what will be a shortened start, likely three innings or so. Lilly could conceivably piggyback on regular rest.
  • Thu., Mar. 28 at Rancho Cucamonga (6:05 p.m.); at Anaheim (7:05 p.m.): One of Ryu or Billingsley will open the Freeway Series against the Angels, while the other starts in Rancho Cucamonga against the Class-A Quakes.
  • Fri., Mar. 29 vs. Angels (7:10 p.m.): Beckett makes his final tuneup before the regular season.
  • Sat., Mar. 30 at Anaheim (6:05 p.m.): Again, Greinke is in line to pitch but he would instead pitch in a minor league game if the Dodgers plan on him opening the season on the disabled list.

Assuming Greinke doesn't pitch in a major league spring training game after Mar. 21 and he opens the season on the disabled list, the earliest date he could pitch for the Dodgers is Apr. 6, a Saturday home game against the Pirates and the fifth game of the season.

They could theoretically start the season with Kershaw, Billingsley, and Beckett against the Giants, then have Ryu open the series with the Pirates on Friday, Apr. 5. Then they could have Greinke pitch Saturday, or if he is not ready they could start the rotation over again with Kershaw on regular rest.

The Dodgers don't technically need a fifth starter until Apr. 13, their 11th game of the season.

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