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Dodgers have rotation options heading into weekend

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO -- Only three games into the 2014 season, starting pitching has been a great strength so far for the Dodgers. Hyun-jin Ryu has been the primary cause with 12 scoreless innings, but his schedule for next weekend is yet to be decided.

Ryu will start either Friday or Saturday against the Giants at home, with the other start likely going to either Paul Maholm or Josh Beckett, the latter currently on the disabled list.

"We'll see how Hyun-jin bounces back tomorrow, then we'll make a decision about Friday," manager Don Mattingly said after Sunday's win over the Padres. "Then we have to make a decision on the Saturday game."

With Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list Ryu essentially slots into his spot, and it might make more sense to have Ryu start Saturday in order to take advantage of the many April off days for extra rest. The Dodgers are off each of the next two Thursdays and Mondays, through April 14.

If Ryu starts in Friday's home opener, he could slot to start next on April 9 on regular rest or April 11 on six days rest if the Dodgers are ready to use five starters at that point. Or they could start him on Saturday against the Giants, then two straight times on five days rest (April 11, 17) if they so choose.

"I feel good," Ryu said Sunday. "When Donnie tells me to be ready, I'll get ready, and that's just part of my job."

For the other weekend start against the Giants, it might just come down to a choice of roster flexibility. If the Dodgers use Maholm against the Giants, that allows them to keep Beckett on the disabled list with his thumb contusion and keep an extra reliever on the active roster for as much as two more weeks.

Beckett threw three simulated innings at Petco Park earlier Monday — 48 pitches to Matt Kemp, Chone Figgins and Justin Turner, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com — and figures to start on Friday or Saturday somewhere, but whether it's in the majors or minors remains in question.

"I don't think we know when we're going to need [Beckett]," Mattingly said. "If we get to the point where we know we're not going to need him, then he'll pitch in a rehab game or two."

Class-A Rancho Cucamonga is home from April 3-9 and April 14-16, while Triple-A Albuquerque plays at home from April 11-18 should Beckett require rehabilitation starts.