Dodgers 2020 spring training primer: Starting rotation

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 04: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the second inning against the Washington Nationals in game two of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The locks for the Dodger rotation

When looking at all the starting pitchers on the Dodgers’ roster, the only two locks are Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler.  Kenta Maeda’s incentive-laden contract seems to make him a lock for the rotation but the Dodgers have tried restructuring his contract in the past.  With Maeda pitching effectively in the postseason bullpen, the Dodgers could shift him into a relief role if Maeda struggles in spring training.

Newly signed Alex Wood is also back in Los Angeles on an incentive-laden contract but it seems the Dodgers have assured him of a starting rotation spot.  Speaking on Dodger Talk, Wood said he would not have come back to LA to pitch in any other role.  That seems to hint at the Dodgers starting Wood out in their starting rotation.  Jimmy Nelson is also going to be given a look as a starter in spring training, but Nelson is more open to pitching in a relief role.

Julio Urias pitched in relief most of the 2019 season, but the Dodgers are going to use him as a starter in 2020.  Urias also appears to be one of the locks for the starting rotation although much will change during the spring depending on health and performance.  As spring training begins it seems the only true locks are Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw, although Maeda, Wood, and Urias seem to have the upper hand on the remaining three spots.

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