With Clayton Kershaw dealing with inflammation in his back, the Dodgers will be without their ace to begin the season this Sunday against the San Diego Padres. Although it is likely that the injury will only cost Kershaw one start, this has been barking the question as to who will get the start on Opening Day.
According to the Los Angeles Dodgers official twitter account, Don Mattingly announced after Friday night’s extra-inning win against the Angels that Hyun-Jin Ryu will be the Dodgers starting pitcher for Sunday’s game:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 29, 2014
With Greinke still coming back from a calf strain suffered during his very first spring start, he has been on a slightly different schedule this spring. Greinke looked solid in his most recent start during Thursday’s game, and he was already named the second starter during the opening series against the Padres. Because the Dodgers were not about to move Greinke’s start up, this left Ryu as their next best option for opening day.
Ryu has also been battling a minor injury. During game two of the Australia series, the right-hander cracked his toenail after being forced to promptly put on the brakes at third while running the bases. Although he eventually scored and stayed in the game after hurting his toe, the injury was beginning to seem more serious than originally expected. His toenail is healing, and as long as the injury remains under control, the Korean starter should have no problem stepping up to the plate as the Dodgers opening day starter.
This has undoubtedly been an unorthodox start to the Dodgers season. By playing their season opener in Australia just a week ago and now without their ace on opening day, the organization is making it work with the pieces they have.
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