Ryu’s start marks the end of the third time through the rotation, with starters slated to pitch five innings in their next time out. As such, innings are going to be harder to come by which is why 20 players were sent to minor league camp on Saturday night, including 10 pitchers.
“With our season starting a little earlier and getting our guys focused and building up, instead of staggering it we just felt doing a big group initially rather than thin it out as the weeks go on would be better for all of us,” manager Dave Roberts said Sunday morning.
The Dodgers open their regular season on Thursday, March 29 against the Giants at Dodger Stadium, but they break camp in Arizona in under two weeks, on March 24.
In the 13 days remaining in Phoenix the Dodgers have two off days, including one on Tuesday.
Clayton Kershaw starts Monday against the Brewers at Camelback Ranch, with Alex Wood pitching in a minor league game on Wednesday, followed by Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill and Ryu.
Ross Stripling gets the start on Wednesday against the Rockies, then after that a decision will be made about his role going forward, whether staying on a starter’s program or pitching in relief in preparation for making the opening day roster in the bullpen.
Among the pitchers optioned on Saturday, Brock Stewart and Dennis Santana will remain on a starter’s program in minor league camp if you were wondering about a potential Triple-A Oklahoma City rotation. Henry Owens, meanwhile, will switch to a relief role.
“The season’s going to be so long, there’s always going to be a revolving door with Triple-A, and guys coming up and helping,” Owens said earlier in camp. “So just being ready, whether it’s as a starter or long man it doesn’t really matter to me.”
For Stewart the Dodgers would like to see more consistency with all of his pitches, including his fastball velocity.
“There are spurts where its pretty good, and the last couple years he has battled some injuries, so now it’s just a matter of going out there and competing and staying healthy,” Roberts said. “If he does that it will take care of itself in whatever role.”
Kenley Jansen, who was scratched from a scheduled Friday appearance with left hamstring tightness, will pitch in a B game on Monday against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch, as will Josh Fields.
Corey Seager will play his five innings of defense at shortstop in said B game, his first game action at the position this spring.
Chase Utley was given a few off days this weekend to be at home with his family in Los Angeles. He is expected to return to Arizona Sunday night and will be in Monday’s starting lineup against the Brewers.
Time: 1:10 p.m. PT
Location: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
TV: SportsNet LA
Radio: 570 AM