Hyun-Jin Ryu has picked up right where he left off let season. So far this Spring he’s pitched 10 innings boasting a 1.80 ERA, .90 WHIP, 9Ks and 0 walks.
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Rich Hill and Julio Urias have arguably been just as good, if not better, but the quality of opponent has been slightly more advanced against Ryu. He’s looking dominant and confident and I see the Dodgers wanting to boost that more.
Hill doesn’t need the boost and Julio doesn’t need the pressure of opening. Look for them to pitch behind Walker Buehler in the third and fourth spots followed by Maeda in the fifth spot with Maeda getting bumped to long relief when Clayton Kershaw returns.
The Dodgers have so much team depth and experience that they can experiment a little in the early part of the season to figure out who will best fit into the everyday starting role or to even go back to their platooning ways.
They’ve proven they have the composure to come back when they fall in the standings.
Given they have played more games than most teams the past two seasons, the Dodgers focus should also be on getting extra rest to everyone in preparation for another World Series run. Their team depth will allow starters to get extra rest while keeping the bench players active.