Dodgers: Rotation Options when DL Reinforcements Return
By Hector Ponce
The Dodgers reinforcements are finally coming. Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda have finally returned from the DL. Clayton Kershaw will be on a rehab assignment Saturday and Walker Buehler will be throwing a bullpen Saturday. That leaves a lot of questions for Roberts to answer once everyone is back.
As has been widely repeated by journalists, reporters, Orel Hershiser and Joe Davis; four of the five Dodger starters to open the season have all seen significant time on the DL. Kershaw, Ryu, Maeda, and Hill, were all slated as starters on this grind of a season, however, the quartet of Stripling, Wood, Buehler, and Ferguson have made more combined starts than the former.
With these pitchers getting opportunities and running with them, Stripling and Buehler in particular, what does Roberts do when it is time for the reinforcements to return?
As of right now, the five-man rotation is Maeda-Hill-Stripling-Wood-Ferguson. Kershaw is slated to come back after his rehab assignment on Saturday. The obvious odd-man out is Caleb Ferguson. Ferguson will more than likely be on his way back to OKC upon Clayton’s return.
Barring a setback Buehler should be right behind Kershaw and make a rehab assignment in the next few weeks. Hyun-Jin Ryu has also resumed baseball activities and has already thrown a bullpen. Though considering the severity of his injury in comparison to Buehler, Ryu’s return might be a bit delayed.
Nonetheless, Ryu is progressing and will be with the team sooner than originally expected. So that begs the question, who will be the odd man or men out?
So let’s look at some possibilities.
Of these options the only constant you will see is pretty crystal clear, Clayton Kershaw (if he remains healthy) is going nowhere.