PHOENIX — The Dodgers haven’t finalized their decision just yet, but it sounds like Scott Kazmir will make his 2017 spring debut on Wednesday night against the Giants in Scottsdale, while Hyun-jin Ryu stays behind at Camelback Ranch to pitch in a simulated game on the back fields.
“I think if I had a guess it would be Kaz against San Francisco,” manager Dave Roberts revealed on Monday.
Both Kazmir and Ryu threw bullpen sessions on Monday as a tune up for Wednesday, and both are progressing relatively well. Ryu is coming off elbow surgery, and Kazmir has been working on his delivery all spring since missing the final six weeks of 2016 with thoracic spinal inflammation.
"Ryu's in a good place, but to get him in a controlled setting makes a lot of sense,” Roberts said. “It will allow him, instead of piggybacking, to go through his routine rather than come into a game on the road.”
They aren’t the only veteran Dodgers starters working their way back into the rotation mix. Brandon McCarthy threw two simulated innings to hitters on Sunday, and is expected to pitch in a game later this week.
“He looks good. He's executing pitches,” Roberts said. "He worked real hard this winter. Mentally he's in a great place. There are really no misfires.”
Those misfires curtailed McCarthy’s season in 2016. He worked his way back from Tommy John surgery to pitch for the Dodgers in July, but got the yips and lost the strike zone in August, walking a career-worst five batters in three consecutive starts. This was after never walking more than three batters in a start since 2009.
"It seems like he's over it and past it,” Roberts said. “It's something you learn from and move on from, so that's what he's trying to do.”
On the field
The Dodgers lost their first game of the spring on Monday, 7-1 to the Rockies on a rainy day at Camelback Ranch. Kenta Maeda walked two and struck out one in his two innings of work, and allowed a solo home run to Jordan Patterson. He threw 31 pitches.
Maeda’s next outing could be three innings, or possibly two innings plus with an increased pitch limit, Roberts said.
Rob Segedin was 2-for-2 with a double on Monday, and has reached base in five of his six plate appearances this spring.
Chase De Jong pitched two scoreless innings with a strikeout, allowing one hit.
The Dodgers play the Rockies again on Tuesday, this time at Salt River Fields, their first of two straight game days in Scottsdale. Julio Urias starts for the Dodgers, against Kyle Freeland.
Tuesday’s 12:10 p.m. PT game won’t be televised, but the Rockies’ radio broadcast will be available through MLB Gameday Audio.