Dodgers News: Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu To Compete For Potential Postseason Roster Spot As Relief Pitcher
Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Intrigued By ‘pretty Lethal’ Duo Of Kenta Maeda, Hyun-jin Ryu
Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers relied on their starting pitching depth for the entirety of the regular season but face a deadline of sorts as an abundance of starters doesn’t carry much value in the postseason.

Travel days and potential clinch or elimination scenarios often lend to teams primarily using four starters in a series; particularly in the best-of-five Division Series. Because of their surplus of starting pitchers, the Dodgers used Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood out of the bullpen.

Wood began the year as a relief pitcher before staking his claim in the rotation, while Maeda was twice used out of the bullpen and and Ryu once. Each has recorded one save.

With just under two weeks remaining in the regular season, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Maeda and Ryu will receive opportunities to work as a reliever and earn a spot on the postseason roster in that capacity, per Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

During the final two weeks of the season, the Dodgers plan to audition Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu for spots in the postseason bullpen, manager Dave Roberts said.

Maeda allowed one run on three hits (one home run) and struck out seven in five innings pitched across two games as a reliever. He was relegated to the bullpen in early June after a string of subpar starts.

Ryu allowed just two hits and struck out a pair over four scoreless innings to earn a save in his lone relief appearance. The Dodgers previously expressed hesitation to use him in a relief role with any consistency due to Ryu’s extensive warm-up process.

Roberts’ comments point to the Dodgers electing to go with Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Rich Hill and Alex Wood as the starters for a playoff series. Kershaw and Darvish are presumed to take the ball in that order, while Hill and Wood could easily be flip-flopped.

Roberts previously said he viewed Wood as the starter for a potential Game 3 of the National League Division Series, but that was prior to the southpaw suffering from a second brush of left SC joint inflammation.