Dodgers’ Starting Rotation Finally Taking Shape

(Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

While many fans of the Dodgers already had some theory what the team’s starting rotation would look like come Opening Day, most didn’t have an idea of the actual order.

Indeed, the summer camp has been an unorthodox version of the normal spring training agenda. However, the Dodgers appear to be ahead of the major-league curve with regards to their starters being stretched out.

As it stands, staff ace Clayton Kershaw will throw the regular-season opener against the Giants on Thursday. Righty Ross Stripling appears to be the next in line for Friday’s contest. The logical order following Stripling would be left-handers Julio Urias and Alex Wood, while righty Walker Buehler would assume the final spot, setting himself up to pitch the series opener against the Astros on Tuesday, July 28.

At one point, some pundits felt that young Dustin May might be in a position to contribute to the Opening Day rotation, but Ken Gurnick of suggested on Saturday that the young righty could theoretically be used to piggy-back Buehler in Houston, who has yet to be stretched out as much as his rotation mates after a slow start in camp.

Kershaw, Wood and Stripling have already been able to build themselves up to at least five innings, thanks in part to the club’s many intra-squad games.

As far as the schedule over the upcoming days looks, Stripling is set to throw a simulated game on Saturday. 25 year-old righty Mitchell White will start against the Diamondbacks in Sunday’s exhibition game. Urias will start Monday in the second exhibition against Arizona, while Wood will throw a separate sim game on Monday.

Gurnick also reported that Buehler will throw three innings on Wednesday to hitters in another simulated scenario.

In other news on Saturday, the team optioned 26-year-old right-hander Tony Gonsolin after he arrived to camp much later than other members of the pitching staff. Gonsolin was assigned to the practice crew at the University of Southern California, hinting that he could be—along with May—one of the first available starting rotation options in the event of an injury.

In a separate development, skipper Dave Roberts on Saturday said that righty reliever Pedro Baez, who also reported to camp significantly late, threw a bullpen session on Friday. Roberts explained that Baez likely will not pitch in one of the team’s scheduled exhibition games,  but he will throw a sim game over the coming days and is expected to be ready for Opening Day.


11 thoughts on “Dodgers’ Starting Rotation Finally Taking Shape

  1. Hard to believe we could actually have a season start on Thursday.
    It will be interesting to see the last few guys to make the 30-man roster. I see the following guys on the cusp:
    A.J. Ramos
    Kolarek (I think he’s probably made it already)
    Graterol (almost definitely on the squad)
    Santana (probably not)
    Mitchell White (very unlikely)
    Victor Gonzalez (very unlikely)
    Garcia (very unlikely)
    Peters (very unlikely)
    Raley (very unlikely)
    With regard to your photo above, someone needs to tell Strip that pitching with your glove on your head is an automatic balk.


    1. It’s definitely gonna be interesting. It’s also really tough to guess. I thought for sure that Gonso would be part of the Opening Day bullpen, but either management sees him more valuable as a starter, or there are other circumstances behind his demotion. I think there could be a lot of things happening in camp (as far as health, development or other issues go) that we’re not even aware. The good thing about the opener is that there will be an extra four men on the active roster, alleviating some of the normal, difficult decisions.


      1. I was also expecting to see Gonso on the 30-man but it seems as though he tested positive at some point for Covid and he may have had some after effects. Not everyone his age is asymptomatic. Also, I think they really do want to make starting his first priority and he wouldn’t be able to do that right now if he stayed here.
        Between the coronavirus and AF’s ability to maneuver his roster, we’re going to see lots of different guys on the roster this year, even though it’s a much shorter season.
        Mark this down, we win the WS this year and the WS MVP is……………………………………McKinstry, even though I don’t expect to see him on the opening day roster.


      1. I knew those lumps were not from hail hits. I think keeping Gore on the roster is a waste of a roster spot. He has one skill. Speed. He is a lousy hitter. His defense is ok, but not outstanding. To me his only real plus would be in the extra inning as the guy on second. The first time this scenario happens, it will be totally weird. D-Bags in town to play a couple of exhibition games starting today. Roberts said the Dodgers consider the Cat Man as a starter. Kolarek is pretty much a lock. Simply because Alexander was late to camp. Ferguson will most likely be one of the lefty’s out of the pen. He has been pitching great.


  2. Rockies released Jake McGee and Brian Shaw. 2 of their trio of relievers signed a couple of years ago for massive dollars. Neither was very effective. Trayce Thompson sent to the minor league camp of the D-Backs, Jon Jay makes their roster as a reserve outfielder.


  3. Ok let’s take bets. Who thinks we play ball Thursday and who thinks something happens before then and everything gets blown up?


  4. I’m thinking it gets pushed back at the very last minute. I hope I’m proven wrong. I really hope baseball and college football can play because who cares about basketball and the NFL can go take a hike with all the little babies thinking they are politicians more than football players telling me how I should think, feel and who I should kneel to.


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