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Dodgers’ Pitching Staff Update: Opening Series Starters, Rich Hill to The IL, Urias May Start

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LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20: Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws pitch in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium on May 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Dave Roberts threw a bunch of pitching information out to reporters gathered around before Friday afternoon’s game, and there was some good news. Hyun-jin Ryu will get the Dodgers’ Opening Day start, and Julio Urias may move to the rotation.  Ryu will become just the second ever Korean pitching to make an Opening Day start after Chan Ho Park did 18 years ago. The downside though is that Rich Hill may be out for a bit.

Just that news alone leaves a lot to unpack, but that was not the only interesting thing Roberts had to say. He also kind of went back on his earlier confirmation that Julio Urias would almost strictly be a reliever this year.

Just weeks after saying Julio Urias would be used mostly as a reliever, Roberts said there are scenarios he can see Julio back in the starting rotation. With Rich Hill out with an MCL strain for a couple of weeks, it’s easy to see how he could fit in. The Opening Day starting rotation shakes out like this:

Hyun-jin Ryu

Ross Stripling

Kenta Maeda

Walker Buehler

Julio Urias/Caleb Ferguson/Dennis Santana

The fifth spot in the rotation is wide open with Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill hitting the Injured List to start the year. There is a real possibility that the team opts to utilize Urias in that role, given he is the best out of a few options. Dennis Santana is getting the start in today’s spring game, meaning he could be utilized early in the season if necessary.

With that being said, Roberts had made it clear that Urias was going to be on a relatively strict innings limit of 75 to 100 for the year. If he is going to be starting in the rotation, Urias’ innings will be eaten up pretty quick. The Dodgers have fantastic depth on their pitching staff, but they may have to put a soft innings limit on Urias.

Dave Roberts also announced that Alex Verdugo, Caleb Ferguson, Dylan Floro, and Yimi Garcia would all be on the Opening Day roster.

UPDATE: President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman, has confirmed that Urias will start the year in the rotation until Rich Hill returns.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

15 Comments

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  1. Why these guys always hurt? With all the possible off season training, rehab methods etc. seems the dodgers always have more pitching on an injured list than ready to go.

  2. Will that innings limit of 75-100 be innings pitched in the Major Leagues only? What if pitches in the minors i.e. AAA? Will minor league innings be included in that tally of 75-100?

    • Of course innings in the minors will count as part of his total. It’s all mileage, throws, on the arm.

  3. Look folks, don’t be too surprised if there is a rough start to the 2019 season. Already and just like last year the rotation is in the injured mode. Unbelievable. I certainly won’t be too surprised to see a 15 and 25 start or something like that. I don’t believe I have ever not looked forward to a start of a season than this year.

    • Looking back at the last 3-4 seasons they have had a lot of slow starts, last year beingnone of the worst! Then they get hot and take over. Having said that I too believe they might have a good start. Not having Clayton and Dick Mountain hurts some but I still think our pitching is good enough that we beat the snakes and the team from up north.

    • Fans, the last sentence of PaulDodgerFan1965 post is right on the mark. We are not yet out of spring training and the breakdowns are coming fast and furious. And not having Urias in the starting rotation makes no sense whatsoever. With Kersh and Hill down, and Buehler relegated to sporadic work at best, I am not a confident camper. And if you check the batting averages of our crew during this ST, they are not much to write home about. Then factor in platooning. I do not like the way this season might start, and I think it starts in LA on Thursday against the Snakes. Go Blue!!!

    • PaulDodgerFan1965, I agree. This team is not nearly as good as 2017. Dodgers did nothing to improve themselves. They talk about pitching but they really need some HITTERS. Especially ones who can hit w/RISP. IF THEY COULD JUST CONSISTANTLY HIT .250-.270 with men on base their pitchers would win a lot more games. Their defense also is a glearing problem.

  4. Perhaps it is time for a philosophical change, from a move away from pitchers who have above-average spin-rates? Is this the source for the Dodgers’ pitchers various problems e.g. arm, blisters, shoulder, etc.? Somebody explain to me why Dodgers pitchers can’t go a 162-game season relatively healthy. Perhaps, I’m asking too much. Posters, just tell me, “Robin, you’re asking too much.”

  5. Memo to Freidman: Rich Hill’s three-year contract at $48 million was stupid then and is still stupid, given the number of innings he’s pitched.

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