Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Addresses Potentially Juggling Act In Starting Rotation
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

More so than last year, the Los Angeles Dodgers figure to begin Spring Training with a surplus of starting pitchers. Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu are both healthy at the outset of camp, and Brock Stewart, Ross Stripling and Julio Urias all have MLB experience.

While Los Angeles learned last season a team seemingly can never have enough pitching depth, there’s certainly a numbers crunch as it currently stands. Some of that may be alleviated by the possibility of leaving Urias in extended Spring Training.

But even removing the young left-hander, the Dodgers still have the likes of Scott Kazmir, McCarthy, Ryu, Stewart, Stripling and Alex Wood vying to fill out the rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda.

“As we look here today, we have a lot of starting pitching depth,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said during FanFest.

“As we finish Spring Training, guys like Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir, they’re going to have to pitch somewhere. Whether it’s in the rotation or eventually out of the bullpen, I don’t know that answer right now. … And Ryu is healthy, so that’s another name.”

Wood began last season in the rotation but was limited by left elbow and arm trouble, underwent an arthroscopic debridement of his throwing elbow in late-July, and didn’t return until September. Wood was exclusively used as a reliever upon coming off the disabled list. He threw four shutout innings with as many strikeouts across four relief appearances.

Considering injury histories and inconsistent performances, the likelihood of Kazmir, McCarthy and Ryu simultaneously being part of the Dodgers’ rotation appears unlikely. A potential move to the bullpen has not yet been discussed, however.

“I don’t think it’s something that a conversation needed to be had,” Roberts said. “There’s certain things that guys who have been around (baseball) understand what’s at stake and how it could potentially play out. I expect them to come into Spring Training ready to compete.”

Roberts added if conversations pitchers who may slip out of the rotation were to be had, they would likely take place during camp.