When the Los Angeles Dodgers opened camp they had upwards of seven pitchers competing to fill out the remaining two spots in the starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts surmised the club would arrive at roster decisions near mid-March.
While the Dodgers Opening Day roster is down to a final spot or two, the rotation neared completion on Monday when Hyun-Jin Ryu was named one of the team’s five starters. That left Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood vying for the final slot in the rotation.
Roberts said the pitcher who was not placed in the rotation would nonetheless make the active roster for the regular season as a reliever. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Dodgers settled on McCarthy as the fourth starter:
McCarthy 4th starter, Wood in bullpen.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 29, 2017
By inserting McCarthy fourth in the rotation, the Dodgers alternate left- and right-handed starters. Earlier in the month Los Angeles swapped Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda in the order, so as to break up Clayton Kershaw and Hill.
McCarthy is 1-2 and has given up 10 runs (seven earned) on 14 hits, struck out seven and issued just one walk in 13 innings pitched across four Cactus League starts. His receiving the nod over Wood doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the left-hander’s experience — and success — as a reliever.
Wood went 0-1 with a 4.67 ERA in five spring games (three starts). He twice appeared in relief during Cactus League play before receiving a string of starts.