The Los Angeles Dodgers are four days away from resuming their regular season schedule and are in the midst of dealing with a host of injuries to their starting rotation. Zack Greinke said he’s recovered from a calf strain and now will focus on improving his pitch count, Hyun-Jin Ryu is dealing with a toenail injury on his landing (right) foot while Josh Beckett and Dan Haren had their respective bumps and bruises during Spring Training.

Clayton Kershaw seemingly was the only pitcher to go unscathed, starting in the season opener and on track to start the U.S. opener on Sunday. That all changed on Wednesday however, when the Dodgers announced an MRI revealed inflammation in Kershaw’s back, which is resulting in him missing the scheduled start.

As the undisputed No. 3 starter in the rotation, Ryu’s importance has suddenly been elevated in light of recent events. Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com reported Wednesday Ryu felt better following a procedure on his toe and Gurnick later reported manager Don Mattingly said the left-hander may recover in time to start in place of Kershaw:


If Ryu is unable to start, Haren is another option, according to Gurnick:


Haren dealt with a tired arm during Spring Training¬†and wasn’t included on the travel roster for the Opening Series in Australia.¬†Haren threw 75 pitches in a minor league game on March 18 and reported improvement in his health. If Ryu is unable to start and Haren takes the mound for what will be the San Diego Padres’ home opener, it won’t necessarily be the position Haren expected to be in when he signed with the Dodgers. No longer a dominant pitcher, Haren’s signing was a means to bolster the backend of the rotation.

As the Dodgers experienced last season with their outfield, perceived depth can very quickly become a necessity rather than a luxury.

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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

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