The rotation is becoming clearer for the Dodgers' domestic opening series against the Padres beginning next Sunday, March 30 in San Diego. San Diego manager Bud Black announced his opening rotation on Saturday morning in Peoria.
The Padres will start Andrew Cashner in the series opener, a Sunday Night Baseball affair on ESPN, then have Ian Kennedy start the second game, on Tuesday, followed by Tyson Ross on Wednesday, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Casher, 27, was 10-9 with a 3.09 ERA last year in his first full major league season, with 128 strikeouts and 47 walks in 175 innings.
The Dodgers haven't yet announced their rotation for the three games in San Diego, but manager Don Mattingly told reporters before the opener in Australia that both Zack Greinke and Dan Haren are in line to pitch in the Freeway Series next week, per J.P. Hoornstra of the L.A. Daily News.
What happens this weekend at Camelback Ranch in Arizona will provide more clues as to the Dodgers rotation.
If Greinke and Haren remain on regular rest and pitch Saturday and Sunday in minor league games, they could line up to face the Angels at Dodger Stadium on Thursday and Friday, then pitch the second and third games in San Diego, assuming Clayton Kershaw starts the Sunday night opener.
That opens up the home opener for Hyun-Jin Ryu, who starts later Saturday night (Sunday in Sydney) against the Diamondbacks. Ryu could conceivably start the Saturday Freeway Series finale against the Angels in Anaheim, then open the home schedule on Friday, April 4 against the Giants.
Ryu was 7-4 with a 2.32 ERA in 15 starts at Dodger Stadium in 2013, with 79 strikeouts and 21 walks in 97 innings.
Using Ryu in the home opener would allow Kershaw to start the next day on five days rest, one of at least two straight starts on extra rest for Kershaw thanks to off days on the schedule early in April. Depending on when fifth starter Josh Beckett is slotted in, Kershaw could potentially start three consecutive times (April 5, 11, 17) on five days rest, holding true Mattingly's plan to give his ace extra rest whenever possible this season.
But nothing is official just yet on the Dodgers' side. We only know the pitchers they will face in San Diego.