Dodgers News: Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda Swapped In Starting Rotation
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Since the Los Angeles Dodgers began their 2017 Cactus League schedule, the front-end of their starting rotation has been, in order, Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda. With Kershaw taking the ball Sunday, Hill was slated to start Monday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

However, the Dodgers are instead starting Maeda at Tempe Diablo Stadium, with Hill now scheduled to pitch Tuesday at Camelback Ranch. Due to Maeda’s previous turn in the rotation landing on the Dodgers’ off day, he instead pitched on a back field on March 8.

The swap splits left-handers Kershaw and Hill in the rotation, and presumably will carry into the regular season.

What’s more, the change would provide for better balance with lefties Scott Kazmir, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Julio Urias and Alex Wood, and right-handers Brandon McCarthy and Ross Stripling competing to round out the rotation.

Brock Stewart was on the periphery of the conversation, but has been shut down due to tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. Wood started for the first time this spring on Sunday.

Although Urias remains under consideration to be part of the Dodgers rotation come Opening Day of the 2017 season, he’s also a candidate to remain in extended Spring Training or begin the year with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Last season, when the Dodgers projected to have an abundance of left-handers in their rotation, manager Dave Roberts said he put little stock in the specific alignment.