Just a few days after the Los Angeles Dodgers return home from Australia, they’ll play three exhibition games against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu were named the starters for the Australia series while Zack Greinke and Dan Haren were two of the three exempt players that stayed back at Camelback Ranch.
Now, Greinke and Haren will get an opportunity for one final tuneup before the regular season as they’ve been chosen to pitch two of the three games of the Freeway Series via J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News:
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) March 22, 2014
Greinke has been dealing with a mild right calf strain suffered during his very first Spring Training start. Greinke made only four pitches in that start, but recently threw four innings in a minor league game in Arizona. If all goes well in his start against the Angels, he’d be in line to start the second game of the San Diego series on April 1.
On the other hand, Haren had three strong spring starts until he complained about a tried arm. Like Greinke, Haren also started in a minor league game while the Dodgers were in Australia. He threw 75 pitches and claimed that he better during this start than he did in any other start earlier this spring. Since they don’t need to start a fifth starter for the beginning part of the season, the Dodgers also placed Josh Beckett on the 15-day DL yesterday.
Clayton Kershaw is lined up to start all three openers (Australia, San Diego, Dodger Stadium), but manager Don Mattingly said the team wants to limit his workload early in the season. Conceivably, Greinke and Haren would start the first two games of the Freeway Series with Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching the final game on Saturday.
If that’s the case, Kershaw would start the opener at Petco Park while Ryu would be slated to start the home opener at Dodger Stadium on April 4 against the San Francisco Giants. While nothing is set in stone, the Dodgers pitching schedule is starting to become a bit more clear.
ICYMI: Here’s what Don Mattingly had to say about the Dodgers trip to Australia