Pitching, pitching and more conversation about… Pitching. As has gone this offseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers and their fans. Guess what we’re going to talk a little more about?

Batting! Just kidding. More pitching. In this case, the early schedule might affect the Dodgers’ urgency to hammer out a consistent rotation in time for Opening Day.

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They probably would otherwise, but here’s how it breaks down, via Dodgers Insider’s Jon Weisman.

Unlike 2015, when they didn’t need a fifth starter until April 14, the Dodgers play six games before their first off day next year, and will need a fifth starter as early as April 8 at San Francisco. (That’s a night before, in all likelihood, Clayton Kershaw pitches against Madison Bumgarner in their second starts of the 2016 season.)

As it stands right now (barring injury, which is all this offseason has been missing if we’re being completely honest), Kershaw will open the season, followed by Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood and (insert name here). That’s not how the front office wants to start the season.

They would want to fix the back end of the rotation regardless of how the season sets up, but playing six games in a row to start might add to the urgency to do so.

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