The never-ending hunt to get Dave Roberts to name an Opening Day starter is almost over. After Thursday’s afternoon game, the Dodgers’ manager told reporters that it will ultimately come down to just two guys.
Ryu and Hill will start Games 1 or 2 of the Arizona series, Roberts said, but he hasn’t decided which.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 21, 2019
That’s right, Rich Hill and Hyun-jin Ryu are the two candidates remaining to hit the bump next Thursday. Ryu pitched in today’s game, so that would put him at seven days of rest ahead of an Opening Day start. Rich Hill last pitched on Sunday and was tentatively scheduled to get some more innings in this weekend. That could still work out if he threw on Saturday, giving him five days between starts.
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Rich Hill has been the favorite to get the nod since Clayton Kershaw went down with his shoulder injury, but Ryu has been in the conversation as well. One of our writers even made the case for Rich Hill in an article today, citing his experience. Ultimately, it will probably come down to which guy is ready to go on Thursday afternoon. Stats for Spring will not mean anything, considering Opening Day is far less important than the value some people give it.
The Dodgers will start the season with a rotation of Rich Hill, Hyun-jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda, Walker Buehler, and Ross Stripling (likely in that order). Julio Urias was essentially assigned to the bullpen after Wednesday night’s game.
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