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Dodgers starting rotation set for remainder of spring training

Carlos Frias and Zach Lee are battling for the fifth starter job.

Scott Kazmir has two more spring starts before the regular season.
Scott Kazmir has two more spring starts before the regular season.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers' fifth starter race remains up for grabs, but the stating rotation for the remainder of spring training, including the Freeway Series appears pretty much set.

On Saturday when the Dodgers have their final split squad games of the Cactus League, Scott Kazmir started on the road against the Mariners in the afternoon in Peoria while Zach Lee starts at Camelabck Ranch on Saturday night against the White Sox.

Kenta Maeda will start on Sunday afternoon against the Reds, followed by Alex Wood on Monday night against the Rangers.

Clayton Kershaw lines up to start Wednesday in a shortened start against the Indians, in the Dodgers' final game in Arizona before breaking camp and heading back to Los Angeles. It will be Kershaw's final tuneup before making his sixth consecutive opening day start on April 4 in San Diego.

That lines up Kazmir, Maeda and Wood to start the three Freeway Series games against the Angels from Thursday through Saturday in Los Angeles and Anaheim, respectively. There are also the next outings of Carlos Frias and Lee to account for. The two remaining fifth starter candidates could piggyback with one of the shorter starts the final time through the rotation.

"Those two are the guys we are really locking in on," manager Dave Roberts said.

Brandon Beachy threw a bullpen session on Saturday but doesn't figure to be ready by the first week of the regular season after getting sidelined with elbow inflamation. Same goes for Mike Bolsinger, who would be the fifth starter were it not for an oblique injury.

Bolsinger said on Saturday that he started running again, and was able to lift weights both Friday and Saturday. He will start playing catch next week.

Ross Stripling will start Tuesday for the Dodgers, though he won't be a candidate to start at least the first time through the rotation, on April 8.

"We're going to put eyes on Ross. Coming off Tommy John and last year he pitched. He has weapons. Just to kind of get him over here in a big league game will help us," Roberts said. "Whether he's in the mix, that remains to be seen."

Off days on April 11 and April 18 give the Dodgers the option to use different fifth starters in April and maneuver the roster in between to carry an extra player in between starts. But that decision will be made after the first time through the starting five.

"After we make that decision on the fifth game of the season and how that pitcher throws that day, that will help our decision and who the matchup is, we'll try to make that decision," Roberts said.