The Los Angeles Dodgers ended the first half of the season with the best record in the National League and faced a tall order coming out of the All-Star break. The Dodgers are in the midst of a nine-game road trip that will conclude over the weekend in San Francisco.
Before moving on to face the Giants, the Dodgers have an off-day Thursday and have another Monday before beginning a home series against the Atlanta Braves July 29.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, manager Don Mattingly stated he may take advantage of the two days off to shuffle the starting rotation once again:
With days off Thursday and next Monday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he might ‘manipulate’ the starting rotation to keep Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu on their regular turns.
Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu are currently scheduled, in that order, to be the starters in the upcoming three-game series against the Giants. Mattingly used the All-Star break to align his rotation so that his top three starters would take the ball against their bitter rival.
Josh Beckett and Dan Haren are scheduled to start on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, the upcoming off-days could result in the two pitchers being skipped over.
Beckett made his first start Tuesday since being placed on the disabled list July 8 and Haren has suffered a loss in his last three starts. Another factor that may influence the decision is Haren’s vesting option for 2015.
Should the right-hander reach 180 innings this season, his contract would be guaranteed next season for $10 million. The 33-year old is currently on pace to pitch roughly 190 innings come season’s end.
After July 28, the Dodgers’ next day off doesn’t come until Aug. 18.
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