Cactus League play gets underway this week as the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, February 26. Manager Don Mattingly will have a few things on his mind as he prepares his team for the upcoming season and will be giving a few players their chance to make the team.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Mattingly named his starters for the team’s third and fourth games next weekend:
Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch the #Dodgers‘ third Cactus League game; Dan Haren will pitch the fourth.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 24, 2014
This falls in line with the Dodgers’ projected rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Ryu, Haren and a fifth starter to be determined. It will be Haren’s first game in a Dodger uniform after signing a one-year deal in the off-season. Ryu is in his second spring with the team and will be looking to cement his place at the team’s third starter. The left-handed Ryu will be facing the Chicago White Sox, while Haren will be going up against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Last season, Ryu finished the season 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA in 30 starts for the Dodgers and will now be in his second full season in the big leagues. Haren is going into his 12th major league season after spending 2013 with the Washington Nationals and finished 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA.
The battle in the spring will be for the fifth spot in the rotation with a few names competing. Josh Beckett is the frontrunner but will be going up against Paul Maholm, Zach Lee, Stephen Fife and Matt Magill. Also, Mattingly hasn’t revealed his starters for the team’s opening series in Australia against the Diamondbacks. It’s possible that Ryu and/or Haren could start in Sydney, depending on if Mattingly wants to limit Kershaw’s workload early.
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