The Los Angeles Dodgers are less than two weeks away from playing regular season games against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia.
Diamondbacks’ manager Kirk Gibson has already announced his starting pitchers for the two-game series in left-hander Patrick Corbin and right-hander Trevor Cahill; however, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had yet to officially announce his pair of starters.
According to the Dodgers official Twitter account, Mattingly came to a decision and a pair of left-handers will take the mound:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 9, 2014
Many expected Kershaw and Zack Greinke to be the starters heading into the spring, despite Greinke’s comments that he wasn’t excited about making the trip to Sydney. That may have been the plan until Greinke suffered a right calf strain just four pitches into his first spring start. The injury pushed his entire schedule back and thrust Ryu into the role.
With the pair, the Dodgers will be sending out the reigning NL Cy Young award winner and a pitcher that won 14 games last season with a 3.00 ERA. Both pitchers will be counted on for about 90 pitches in their starts, according to their throwing schedule and the earliness of the games. The team’s spring schedule was cut significantly because of their trek to Australia.
Kershaw has struggled in two spring starts thus far and mentioned that he’s yet to feel comfortable throwing, but he will have two more starts before Australia to straighten things out. He’s set to start the opening game of the series and may come back to start the Dodgers’ United States opener against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on March 30. Ryu is expected to be the team’s third starter in his second season in the major leagues and was adamant in his willingness to pitch in Australia.
With the starters now set, the Dodgers can focus on making their final roster decisions before heading off Down Under.
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