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Dave Roberts confirms first 4 Dodgers rotation spots, Julio Urias out of the mix for 5th starter

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PHOENIX -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on Thursday morning named his first four starting pitchers in the rotation, with the final few weeks of spring training camp devoted to the race for the fifth starter, a race which includes top prospect Julio Urias as a long shot.

In other words, just about everything we talked about on Wednesday.

"As it lines up, we're looking at Kersh, [Scott] Kazmir, [Kenta] Maeda and then [Alex] Wood," Roberts said. "Then we'll figure out that last spot."

Wood, who was scratched on Saturday with left forearm soreness, gets the start for the Dodgers on Thursday against the Royals, and is expected to last four innings or about 60 pitches.

The Dodgers need a fifth starter in their fifth game of the season, on April 8, but an off day on April 11 gives them the opportunity to do some maneuvering to get an extra reliever or position player in the mix for six games if they so choose.

"We are going to break camp with a fifth starter," Roberts confirmed. "There are a couple days off too, that we may use."

Mike Bolsinger, Brandon Beachy and Zach Lee are the three candidates for the fifth starter spot. Though Beachy isn't currently on the 40-man roster, all three have options should the Dodgers decide to use multiple pitchers in the role in April. But Roberts wouldn't rule out Urias just yet, based on talent alone.

"Obviously he's a special pitcher. You're looking at pitch counts, what's good for him, what's good for the organization. I think him being around these major league pitchers and major league coaches has been invaluable. You have Greg Maddux watching every bullpen he throws," Robert said. "He's in the mix, but we are definitely very aware of not rushing him."

Urias, just 19, pitched just 80⅓ innings in 2015, and lasted six innings only five times. Ideally, the first part of his 2016 season would be spent continuing to develop in the minors and gradually pitch deeper into games.

"It's smart for us to consider it, but he's got to be really good. As polished as he is, he's not a finished product," Roberts said. "But he's special."