Sunday marked a 43rd game played for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, which is most in the Majors. Their heavy workload early included a stretch of opening the year with 24 games in 25 days.
An travel day on April 22 was followed by a string of 19 games in 20 days, including their series finale with the Washington Nationals on Mother’s Day. Breaks are ahead, however, as quirk in the schedule calls for the Dodgers to be off Monday and Thursday.
As the off days were drawing near, manager Dave Roberts said the club was likely to use them to adjust their starting rotation and provide extra days of rest for pitchers.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, it’s amounted to Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda swapping their order:
Maeda starts Wednesday. Rich Hill pushed back.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 12, 2019
The change now aligns Maeda to face the San Diego Padres in the finale of a two-game set at Dodger Stadium. The series marks Manny Machado’s first return since signing a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres over the winter.
For Maeda it’ll mark a second start against the Padres in 10 days. He pitched through some traffic and allowed three runs on four hits, while recording six strikeouts in last week’s start at Petco Park. Franmil Reyes hit a two-run homer off Maeda in the first inning.
Hill’s next outing now comes on the road in the series opener against the Cincinnati Reds and will be on six days’ rest. The veteran left-hander struggled during parts of his last two outings, specifically early in both games.
Hill owns a 15.00 ERA in the first inning this season, but a superb 1.50 ERA after that. He experienced similar trouble last year, which prompted and adjustment to his pregame routine.
The forthcoming changes do not impact Clayton Kershaw, who remains slated to pitch against Chris Paddack and the Padres on Tuesday. Because of a break in the schedule the day prior, Kershaw still is receiving an extra day of rest between outings.
The Dodgers have another set of Monday/Thursday off days ahead on May 20 and 23, which could lead to more shuffling of the deck.