The Dodgers set the starting rotation for their next series at home against the Rockies, and will give Walker Buehler extra rest to line him up against the Padres next weekend in San Diego.
Off days last Thursday and this Monday gave the Dodgers some maneuverability, with an eye toward the top of the rotation. Dustin May would have lined up to pitch Sunday against the Nationals but he was pushed back to Wednesday. May will pitch on eight days rest to avoid having Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer pitch on six days rest.
Kershaw is starting Sunday on four days rest, with Bauer lined up for Tuesday against Colorado on five days rest. The Dodgers will start Julio Urías in Thursday’s series finale against the Rockies, which lines up Buehler, Kershaw, and Bauer against the Padres in an NL West showdown series next weekend at Petco Park, the first of two straight weekends the two juggernauts will face each other.
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Not that Dave Roberts would acknowledge the coincidence.
“I think you can read into it any way you want. But I think making sure guys are rested and feeling good going into a particular series is the ultimate goal,” Roberts said Sunday. “I hesitate to say any more emphasis [on the Padres], but obviously you’re looking at the talent, the build up, we’ll be ready for that series.”
Kershaw’s start on Sunday is his second start on four days rest this season, and the third for the Dodgers through 10 games. With Urías Thursday and Bauer next Sunday also lined up for four days rest, the Dodgers will be approaching their total from 2020, when their starters pitched on four days rest just seven times in 60 regular season games. But they’ve still had far more starts with at least five days rest, including in seven of their first nine games.
“There’s going to be pitching gymnastics all year for our club,” Roberts said. “Number one, because we have a lot of talent. Number two, we want to make sure that we manage the usage and keep these guys raring and clicking on all cylinders through October.”
The plan for Brusdar Graterol is to pitch two games in three days at Camelback Ranch, and if all goes well he could be activated from the injured list shortly after.
Tony Gonsolin is still experiencing shoulder soreness and did not throw a bullpen session on Sunday. “He’s still a ways away for me right now, where he’s at,” Roberts said.
The pitching matchups for the Dodger-Rockies series:
Tuesday: Trevor Bauer vs. Antonio Senzatela
Wednesday: Dustin May vs. Jon Gray
Thursday: Julio Urías vs. Austin Gomber