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Inbox: Will Dodgers stack up starters?

@kengurnick
June 29, 2020

Do you see the Dodgers possibly pitching two starters in the same game? Been hearing about some teams possibly doing that. -- I Want Sports Back @LASports210 If you mean having two of their top five starters pitching in the same game, no. They will likely begin with a traditional

Do you see the Dodgers possibly pitching two starters in the same game? Been hearing about some teams possibly doing that.
-- I Want Sports Back @LASports210

If you mean having two of their top five starters pitching in the same game, no. They will likely begin with a traditional five-man rotation -- Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, David Price, Julio Urias and Alex Wood. At least for the first two times through the rotation, those starters will be limited to two or three innings each. But the Dodgers have solid depth to piggyback with multi-inning swingmen like Ross Stripling, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Dennis Santana and possibly Jimmy Nelson in the mix to get the game to the back end of the bullpen.

Who is playing DH?
-- StillCowboys @StillCowboys

The Dodgers won’t have “a” designated hitter. They will do what they’ve done in recent years for road Interleague games -- by committee, depending on the matchups against the opposing team’s starter and available relievers. They played in 10 of those games last year and used six players at DH. Expect the same this year. Management uses these games to rest players defensively while keeping their bat in the lineup. Third baseman Justin Turner, at age 35 with a history of leg injuries, is the poster boy for this strategy. But it also will allow occasionally semi-resting catcher Will Smith or outfielder A.J. Pollock while utilizing Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernández, Chris Taylor, Matt Beaty and Edwin Ríos. Consider the DH for the Dodgers the ultimate platoon, with frequent in-game switching when there’s an opposing pitching change. This is where the Dodgers believe depth gives them a significant advantage.

Are there going to be "pre"-season games?
-- Merrill Jennings @Merrill76

Clubs may schedule up to three exhibition games before the end of summer camp. Clubs may consider scheduling games against their opening opponent in the days leading up to Opening Day. There is no limit on the number of intrasquad games permitted. Obviously, there are more pressing immediate issues, but the Dodgers will probably play one just to taste game speed. Logistically, it would likely be against the Angels or whichever team they open the schedule against. With no fans in attendance and no revenue to be generated regardless, the benefit of these games is limited.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.