For much of the 2018 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation has been depleted by injuries as four of the five Opening Day starters, Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu, have all spent time on the disabled list.
Rookies Walker Buehler and Dennis Santana, who were both called up to replace those starters, have also missed time due to injury. One pitcher that has stepped up in their place is Ross Stripling after beginning the season in the bullpen.
The Dodgers are finally starting to get healthy though with Kershaw, Hill and Maeda all returning from the disabled list within the last month, and Buehler now scheduled to be activated off the disabled list and start on Friday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
When Buehler comes back, the Dodgers will have six healthy starters, so Dodgers manager Dave Roberts may utilize a six-man rotation with the team not having an off day for a while coming out of the All-Star break, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“We’ve talked about it,” Roberts said. “With, I think, 17 games in a row, if it ever did make sense that’s one of those times. That’s one of the things we’re going to talk through over the break. It’s something for us to really consider.”
Buehler will be taking Alex Wood’s spot in the rotation on Friday as considering Wood is the only one who hasn’t spent time on the disabled during the first half of the season, he could use some rest. He may be available out of the bullpen during the series against the Angels over the weekend though.
A six-man rotation is not something that the Dodgers would keep up for the entire second half though, so unless someone gets injured, guys may be competing for the five spots in their next few starts with someone ultimately being moved to the bullpen.
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