The Dodgers have announced their opening week starting rotation, but things could change between now and opening day on April 1st, against the Giants. The Dodgers will go with only four starters for now, and it appears that right hander Chad Billingsley will begin the season on the DL. But not for his elbow injury, which appears to be healed, but instead for a fingernail bruise on his pitching hand.
Bills could start season on DL with bruised fingernail-Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers will have Clayton Kershaw pitching on opening day April 1st. Korean import Hyun-jin Ryu will get the start on April 2nd, and Josh Beckett will start the third game of the series on April 3rd. The Dodgers have an off-day on April 4th, and then begin a three game set with the Pirates on April 5. Birdman Zack Greinke will make his Dodger debut on April 5th, and then Kershaw makes his second start on April 6. After that, it is unknown what the Dodgers will do. The Dodgers have off-days on April 4, and 8, which means they won’t need a fifth starter until April 13th at the earliest. It appears the Dodgers will be going with four starting pitchers the first week or so of the season. The rotation will be Kershaw, Ryu, Beckett, and Greinke.
Ryu will make his Dodger debut on April 2nd against the Giants at Dodger Stadium-Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers could start Bills on April 7th, and make his DL stint retroactive to March 22. Billingsley injured his finger back on March 15, while attempting to execute a bunt during bunting drills. Originallly it was diagnosed as a bruised finger. Bills has been unable to throw any curveballs because of the injury. Once again this proves that nothing good can come of bunting. Fingernails are very important to keep trimmed and healthy if you are a pitcher. Without healthy fingernails, a pitcher would have trouble gripping the ball. This is very important when throwing breaking balls, or off-speed pitches.
Bills is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game on Friday night. The earliest he would be eligible to come off of the DL is April 6th. That would put him in line to make his season debut on April 7th. If Bills can’t go, then the Dodgers could possibly have one if their other starters go, like Chris Capuano, or Aaron Harang, if they are not traded first. The Dodgers are running out of time to make a decision. The Dodgers return to Southern California on Thursday night, and begin the Freeway Series on Thursday night. We are now only five days away from opening day on April 1st.