The Los Angeles Dodgers made a pitching change for Sunday’s series finale against the Washington Nationals in order to keep Clayton Kershaw on a regular rotation and provide Dustin May with extra rest before his next outing.
“It’s a long season, so Dustin to kind of curtail some days and get him back in there, that was kind of the impetus behind that,” manager Dave Roberts explained. “He’ll be slotted in shortly. It’s just kind of pushing him back a little bit to keep Clayton on line.”
Roberts added May would not appear out of the bullpen while waiting to be re-inserted into the rotation. May last pitched on April 5 in his regular season debut. He threw 85 pitches and struck out eight over six shutout innings against the Oakland Athletics.
Roberts assured the delay with May taking the mound for a second start is not related to injury.
The Dodgers then went on to set their pitching probables for the home series with the Colorado Rockies as Trevor Bauer on Tuesday, May on Wednesday, and Julio Urias in the series finale. That leaves Walker Buehler, Kershaw and Bauer to start against the San Diego Padres come the weekend.
There was no scenario with which Bauer — who has long been a proponent of pitching of every fourth day — would not next start on extra rest. He’s gone at least 6.1 innings in both outings this season and threw 110 pitches in his last start.
Bellinger eligible to return for Padres series
Aside from pitching, the Dodgers may also face a decision with Cody Bellinger, who is on the 10-day injured list due to a left calf contusion. Bellinger’s stint was backdated, making him eligible to be activated Friday.
“I don’t think so,” answered Roberts when asked if the weekend matchup would influence when the Dodgers reinstate Bellinger. “We’ve got a lot of talented players. We can win without Cody being in the lineup, but it certainly makes us a lot better.”
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