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Dodgers news: ‘Opener,’ Turner, Hill, Verdugo

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Ferguson gets the start for LA; Turner still out

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After an offday on Monday, the Dodgers open a brief two-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays and last year’s American Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. The Dodgers are countering with 2018 All-Star Ross Stripling.

Or are they?

Turns out, the Dodgers are giving the Rays a taste of their own medicine by rolling Caleb Ferguson out as the opener. This is interesting because the Rays don’t have an overly left-handed lineup, but their best player — Austin Meadows — is a lefty. But Ferguson’s recent string of success is is surely an audition for him to make the postseason roster. Chad Moriyama had a nice look at why Ferguson has been so successful lately yesterday at Dodgers Digest.

Stripling will still pitch tonight — probably three or more innings — whenever Ferguson is done. Stripling is also fighting for a berth on the playoff roster. Since returning from a neck injury, he has posted the following line in three outings: 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 6 K.

UPDATE: Or maybe Stripling is making the roster already.

Still no Justin Turner in the lineup. Dave Roberts said on Sunday that Turner would be back for this game, but backtracked after the game. Turner last played 10 days ago and the goal for him is to be healthy for Oct. 3, so he’ll sit as long as is necessary to make sure he’s as healthy as possible for another potential World Series run.

Let’s get to some other news of the day.

Rich Hill hurt his knee in his first outing back from a sore left forearm. He is trying to figure out how to pitch through a sprained MCL, so the fact that the MRI didn’t reveal structural damage gives him (and us) hope he can make it back — in some capacity — for the playoffs. On that note...

Let’s get weird. Russell Martin is gonna be the opener, huh?

Alex Verdugo had a setback in his rehab, which you already knew. He’s not doing any baseball activities right now and is hoping to get healthy enough to be available for a potential National League Championship Series. He will not be available for the National League Division Series.