As Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts previously hinted would be the case, the club is making minor changes in their starting rotation for upcoming road series with the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.
Alex Wood is now scheduled to face the Rays on Wednesday, the finale of a quick two-game series at Tropicana Field. Scott Kazmir remains on his usual turn and will face his former club on Tuesday. Kazmir will start on a extra day of rest however, with Monday being an off day.
With Wood in line to start against the Rays, it pushes Kenta Maeda’s next outing to Friday, in the three-game series opener against the Blue Jays. He’ll be followed over the weekend by Ross Stripling and Clayton Kershaw.
“For us, it’s just more of a matchup-based decision,” Roberts explained of the swap. “You see the righties in Toronto, and I think Kenta matches up well with them.” Maeda’s splits through four starts are relatively even.
Right-handed hitters have a slightly higher batting average, .226 to .182, and slugging percentage, .290 to .273. Left-handed batters have hit two doubles and one home run, while right-handers have one double and one home run.
Maeda, who suffered the first loss of his young Major League career on Thursday, will go seven days between starts. “It does give [Maeda] a couple of extra days but for us, honestly, everyone stays on their turn,” said Roberts when asked if providing the Japanese native with rest he was accustomed to throughout his career played a factor in the Dodgers’ decision.
“With the two off days, we were able to manipulate it to give us a chance to win.”