Dodgers: Dave Roberts plans on using 5-man rotation to start season

Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Despite the compressed season, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expects to stick to a 5-man rotation.

We will find out the specifics of the Los Angeles Dodgers schedule this week, but we already know it will be compressed with 60 games expected to be played in 66 or 67 days. Beyond that, there is concern about pitchers staying healthy after stretching out their arms in March, before shutting everything down due to the pandemic, only to start back up again.

While many teams are expected to utilize a six-man rotation to ease their starters into the season, the Dodgers won’t be one of them.

According to manager Dave Roberts, the Dodgers are planning to begin the regular season with a regular 5-man rotation. However, he doesn’t anticipate using starters beyond 4 innings per game during their first turn in the rotation, as summarized by Jon Morosi from an interview with the skipper on MLB Network Radio on Wednesday.

Teams will be allowed to carry 30 active players to start the season, providing plenty of extra roster spots for added bullpen arms.

The Dodgers five-man rotation is pretty much set for the season.

The Dodgers rotation is set to include top-flight starters Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, along with recently-acquired left-hander David Price. The fourth and fifth slots seem to be reserved for Julio Urias and Alex Wood.

By not including a sixth starter, it leaves swingman Ross Stripling as the most obvious odd man out. The right-hander appeared to be on his way to a rotation role with the Los Angeles Angels, but a trade that would have sent him, along with Joc Pederson, to Anaheim ultimately fell through.

While Stripling was told he would have a chance to make the Dodgers rotation, it became apparent in March that he was destined for the bullpen again.

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Of course, as players report to Spring Training 2.0, a lot can happen, especially in these challenging times of trying to play amid the pandemic. An opportunity could arise for Stripling if an injury occurs.