Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his first start of the season and first in two years, really. He’s had two surgeries on his pitching arm in the past two years. He had shoulder surgery in May of 2015 to repair the labrum, which kept him from pitching that season. Then in 2016 he came back and tried to pitch in July but had elbow discomfort and eventually had debridement surgery on the elbow in September. He had a minor groin injury this March but he’s recovered and posted a 2.57 ERA and 12/1 K/BB ratio across 14 Cactus League innings.
His opponent will be Kyle Freeland, a Denver native who’s making his MLB debut. He split time between Hartford of the AA Eastern League and Albuquerque of the AAA PCL last year, compiling an 11-10 record with a combined 3.89 ERA.
The Rockies have a new-to-them manager this year but a familiar one nonetheless. Bud Black managed the Padres from 2007-2015 and was fired in June, replaced for one game by current Dodger manager Dave Roberts, who’d been the bench coach.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup at Rockies: Forsythe 2B Gutierrez LF Turner 3B Puig RF Van Slyke 1B Grandal C Hernández SS Pederson CF Ryu P pic.twitter.com/ayhKcz0h1H
The Dodgers and Angels put on their annual Freeway Series three-game show to end spring training for both teams starting Friday night. Opening Day is Monday, April 3 against the Padres at Dodger Stadium.
Brandon McCarthy earned the #4 spot in the rotation. He’ll be preceded by Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill and followed by Hyun-jin Ryu. At least that’s the plan today.
Roberts added that Alex Wood, a finalist for the rotation, would share the long relief role with Ross Stripling. Rounding out the bullpen are closer Kenley Jansen, set-up man Sergio Romo, Grant Dayton, Luis Avilan and Chris Hatcher.
Barnes will likely be the backup catcher, although that’s not been formally announced. Kiké Hernandez hurt his wrist the other day and is questionable for the backup infielder spot until he shows it’s healed. If he can’t go, it’ll probably be Chris Taylor, and that might mean Van Slyke stays up too, since he can play center field and Taylor doesn’t. Additionally,
The Dodgers trimmed the roster before leaving Arizona on Wednesday, sending out seven players. Infielder Rob Segedin was optioned and reassigned were outfielders Tyler Holt and O’Koyea Dickson, pitcher Brandon Morrow, first basemen Cody Bellinger and Ike Davis, and infielder Charlie Culberson.
“It’s a doggy-dog world out there.” I have seen that written on the Internet more times than I care to mention, and it apparently applies to the Dodgers’ starting rotation competition this spring. There are seven proven pitchers trying to fit into the two spots for fourth and fifth starters. Kershaw, Hill and Maeda look to be locks for the first three slots, but after that you’ve got McCarthy, Wood, Kazmir, Ryu, Stripling, Stewart and Urias hunting for work.
“As we look around here today, we have a lot of starting pitching depth, but as we finish spring training, guys like Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, they’re going to have to pitch somewhere,” Roberts said. “So whether it is out of the rotation or potentially out of the pen, I don’t know that answer right now.”
Oh, and once they get the starting pitching set, they can start on their “eight outfielders for three positions” problem.
MLB released its Top 100 Prospectslist and the Dodgers placed five guys on it. Only two are in the top fifty; 1B Bellinger at #13 and RHP Yadier Alvarez at #49. Bellinger is up 19 spots since the last list was released at mid-season last summer, while Alvarez is up 49.
Logan Forsythe is glad to be on a winning team. “I’m happy to just come over to a winning ballclub, organization and help some young guys if I can, jump in with the core guys and try to help these guys anyway I can,” Forsythe said.
The Dodgers go for a series sweep with rookie RHP Ross Stripling (3-4, 4.07 ERA). He’ll face RHP Jerad Eickhoff (8-12, 3.82 ERA), who’s like Dodgers’ pitchers in that he gets in trouble in the sixth inning when the opposing batters get their third look at him. His ERA for that inning this year is 12.71. Stripling has, this season, shown himself to be better in a long relief role; he’s made three long-relief appearances in July, posting a 1.54 ERA over 11 2/3 innings. Over his 10 starts this season, Stripling has a 4.61 ERA.
A.J. Ellis writes a column for ESPN about Vin Scully.
Pitching notes from Jon Weisman. Highlights/lowlights: Kershaw may throw a bullpen session on Saturday, and Ryu is not expected to pitch again this season.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Phillies: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Reddick RF González 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Kendrick LF Stripling P
Rookie righthander Brock Stewart (0-1, 9.00 ERA) spot-starts for the Dodgers, filling in for the newly-acquired Rich Hill and the possibly-injured Bud Norris, not to mention the disabled Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brett Anderson and Clayton Kershaw. In his first and only other MLB start he went five innings, gave up five runs, struck out seven and walked two. He’s been very good in the minors, posting a 1.80 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A and has a 3.00 ERA in four Triple-A starts since he went back down after that MLB start. He’ll be opposed by the Rockies’ rookie lefty Tyler Anderson, (3-3, 3.33 ERA), who’s had six quality starts in his first nine in the big leagues. He hasn’t given up a dinger in his last 22 1/3 innings.
Personnel news: Stewart, Fields and Urias up; Toles and Josh Ravin down (the latter after reinstatement from the restricted list for PED usage; he also recuperated from broken bone surgery while out); Coleman (right shoulder fatigue) and Liberatore (left elbow inflammation) to DL. And the biggest and most unpleasant news of all: Kershaw moved to 60-day DL. Eligible to return August 27.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Rockies: Kendrick 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Van Slyke RF González 1B Hernández LF Pederson CF Ellis C Stewart P
Bud Norris (5-7, 4.17 ERA) will make his fourth start for the Dodgers; he’s given up seven runs in 16 innings in the first three. He’ll face Gio Gonzalez (5-8, 4.70 ERA), whose July has been an improvement over his June; in his last start he went 5 2/3 innings against the Mets and gave up two runs, the fewest he’d allowed in any start since May.
Rumors have it the Dodgers are hunting a front-line pitcher like the Rays’ Chris Archer, now that Kershaw’s return is delayed, Ryu is back on the DL and Alex Wood’s elbow needed surgery which puts him out for eight weeks.
The team is obviously very highly-strung as we head down the stretch of the season:
Scott Kazmir (7-3, 4.52 ERA) tries to improve on his last outing when he went only three innings and threw 85 pitches. His opponent will be the Nats’ #5 prospect (per MLB.Pipeline.com), RHP Reynaldo Lopez, who’s making his MLB debut this evening. He put up a 3.19 ERA in 16 starts in the minors this season.
The Dodgers activated Joc Pederson from the DL on Tuesday, so expect to see him back in center field. The Nationals expect to get Daniel Murphy back into their starting lineup. Also, the Dodgers have put Fein and Ryu on the 15-day DL.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Nationals: Utley 2B Kendrick LF Turner 3B González 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Puig RF Taylor SS Kazmir P
The Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his 2016 debut after sitting out the entire 2015 season recovering from shoulder surgery on May 21. In his last rehab start he threw 84 pitches, so he appears to have mended pretty well. His opponent will be Drew Pomeranz (7-7, 2.65 ERA). Pomeranz faced the Dodgers on May 1 and threw 7 innings of 3-hit ball, only to lose to a Kershaw RBI single in the third inning and a 3-hitter by the Dodgers’ pitcher as well. It was the only win the Dodgers got on that 7-game homestand.
From a column at SI comparing Kershaw’s six-year run to others in history:
my favorite stat on Kershaw: Since his debut season of 2008, he has lowered his career ERA every year without exception—eight straight years of improving upon greatness. Now that’s a special run.
Julio Urias (0-0, 10.13 ERA) gets the start which would normally be Kenta Maeda’s, but Maeda’s hand is still a little sore from getting hit with a line drive his last time on the mound. He’s expected to start Friday against the Braves in Los Angeles. Urias’s opponent today will be right-hander Kyle Hendricks (3-4, 2.93 ERA), who got a complete game win over the Phillies on May 28. Urias lasted only 2 2/3 innings in his major league debut against the Mets May 27.
Alex Wood has a posterior impingement of his elbow and will need four weeks of rest. After that he’ll start a throwing program and then pitch in a rehab assignment. Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a 90-mph fastball in Fresno last Wednesday and woke up with shoulder soreness, so the team has slowed his rehab down. Brandon McCarthy threw 45 pitches in two innings of bullpen work and hit 89 mph. Scott Van Slyke is expected to come off the 15-day DL this weekend in LA.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Pederson CF Thompson RF Crawford LF Ellis C Urias P