With less than a week to go until Opening Day, there are still a few question marks surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation.
Clayton Kershaw is set to begin the season on the injured list, so Ross Stripling will take his place in the rotation. Despite not being fully built up, Walker Buehler is not expected to begin the season on the injured list. He will not be ready to start on Opening Day though.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently narrowed it down to Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu to start that game against Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks, although that list got even slimmer on Friday. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Hill is now dealing with a sore left knee that will keep him from pitching on Opening Day:
Rich Hill has a sore left knee and can’t start Opening Day.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 22, 2019
This is obviously unfortunate news for the Dodgers even though it is still unclear how serious the injury is and how much time he will miss. Hill recently said that this is the best he has felt during Spring Training in a long time and was looking forward to beginning the season.
If Hill is forced to begin the season on the injured list, then Julio Urias would be the primary candidate to take his place in the rotation. The team could also look to the free agent market to add a starter, with Dallas Keuchel being the best name still available.
Roberts has not yet officially named Ryu as his Opening Day starter, but with Hill out, that is expected to be the case.