The Dodgers are set to have numerous arms vying for a spot in the Opening Day rotation for 2020, but as always, there are only five available spots.
According to Andrew Friedman, the club has identified their five primary options as the roster currently stands:
Andrew Friedman reiterated that the Dodgers plan on having Julio Urías in their starting rotation next season. As it stands, it's Urías, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Kenta Maeda in the rotation. He said Ross Stripling will have a chance to compete for a spot.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) November 13, 2019
Currently, the Dodgers plan to go with a rotation of right-handers Walker Buehler, Kenta Maeda, and Ross Stripling with southpaws Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urías filling the rest of the rotation out. Buehler and Kershaw appear to be locks for the rotation with Maeda being very likely, Urías being about 50/50, and Ross Stripling being unlikely considering the likelihood he gets dealt.
The Dodgers also have rookie right-handers Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin in tow and they both figure to make sizable impacts in 2020. They both impressed during their short stints with the big club in 2019, with May making the NLDS roster.
If the Dodgers do trade someone like Ross Stripling away, that would open a spot up for one of the two rookies. If they do not make the Opening Day rotation, they might make the Opening Day bullpen. Anything is in play for both of the young pitchers.
Free Agency Impact
With the Dodgers planning to fully immerse themselves in the free agent and trade markets, one or more of the spots could be occupied by someone who is not currently on the roster. The names could include someone like Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, or Zack Wheeler entering the fray.
Friedman has provided some early clarity in regards to the rotation, but because it is so early, things will change. The five pitchers named all walk different lines and any one of them, sans Buehler and Kershaw, could find themselves in the bullpen or pitching for a different club next season.