For those readers who remain enthused about the Opening Day 25-man roster of the Dodgers, manager Dave Roberts revealed a few more hints as to how his squad will stack up against the Diamondbacks next Thursday.
First and foremost, the team named lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu as the new starter for the opener, replacing ace Clayton Kershaw, who will begin the season on the injured list with problems in his left shoulder. Ryu will be the second Korean pitcher to make an Opening Day start for the Dodgers, as it comes 18 years after Chan Ho Park started the home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 2, 2001.
Coincidentally, Park earned the victory after throwing seven scoreless innings, scattering just five hits and two walks while striking out seven opposing batters.
In other big news, it was revealed that veteran southpaw Rich Hill will begin the season on the injured list. According to Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times, Hill said he “hurt his knee on his fourth-to-last pitch in his start last Sunday. He tested it in a bullpen and felt it again so he underwent an MRI that night. It showed a Grade 1 MCL strain.”
Consequently, it was confirmed that Julio Urias or will take Hill’s spot in the starting rotation. Head boss Andrew Friedman said on Friday that the young lefty will remain in the rotation only until Hill is ready to return.
Furthermore, Roberts stated the Ross Stripling will start the second game of the season next Friday. As a result, the rotation—to begin the season, anyway—will line-up like this: Ryu, Stripling, Kenta Maeda, Walker Buehler, and Urias.
Many close to the team were concerned that Verdugo might have been the odd man out if Brad Miller made the team; however, Miller was granted free agency after he was informed Thursday about his omission from the big league roster.
Stay tuned tomorrow morning as we’ll roll out our final projections and details for the full 25-man Opening Day roster.