The Dodgers face a right-handed pitcher for a third consecutive game in Sunday’s finale with the Tigers in Detroit, but Justin Verlander is the latest in what figures to be a long string of righties in the short term.
Here are some pregame notes from manager Dave Roberts’ pregame scrum with beat reporters at Comerica Park, including updates on Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, and Grant Dayton.
Kershaw threw a simulated game on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, with another simulated game to follow in Pittsburgh, then a minor league rehab assignment.
#Dodgers Dave Roberts said Clayton Kershaw will throw his 3-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh tomorrow— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 20, 2017
Dave Roberts maintained what the plan was on home stand to have Kershaw pitch his rehab game next weekend in Tulsa or OKC.— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) August 20, 2017
Triple-A Oklahoma City opens an eight-game homestand on Wednesday, while Double-A Tulsa will be on the road in Springfield, Missouri next Saturday through Monday.
As expected, Cody Bellinger is out of the lineup on Sunday, day-to-day with a mild right ankle sprain suffered in Saturday’s game. As such, the plan to have Adrian Gonzalez at designated hitter on Sunday changed. Gonzalez is now at first base for the series finale.
As for Bellinger, he might be out of the lineup for more than just one game.
Dave Roberts said he may hold Bellinger out of starting lineup next 2-3 days. #Dodgers— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) August 20, 2017
|SS||Seager (L)||RF||Presley (L)|
|DH||Utley (L)||DH||Martinez (S)|
With the Pirates sending four right-handers to the mound for the Dodgers’ upcoming series in Pittsburgh, followed by the all-righty rotation of the Brewers coming to Los Angeles next weekend, the Dodgers are looking at 10 straight games facing right-handers.
That means finding games to utilize the usual starters versus left-handers, Kiké Hernandez and Austin Barnes, both of whom are in the lineup against Verlander in Sunday’s finale.
Chris Taylor gets a day off, his first game not starting since July 22. Taylor started the last 23 games and has played in 40 straight games, starting 39. Curtis Granderson, in left field for the second straight day, bats leadoff on Sunday, with Logan Forsythe at second base and Chase Utley the designated hitter.
The news on Dayton doesn’t seem too good. He was on the disabled list with a neck strain, but left Friday’s rehab outing before starting it with elbow discomfort.
Original scans came back unclear on Grant Dayton's elbow, Roberts said. Dodgers seeking 2nd opinion. Dayton shut down until further notice.— Catherine Slonksnis (@CSlonksnis) August 20, 2017
The lefty Dayton, who made both the NLDS and NLCS roster for the Dodgers in 2016, has a 4.94 ERA in 29 games this season, with 20 strikeouts and 12 walks in 23⅔ innings. He last pitched on July 24.