The Dodgers probably have the deepest corps of catching prospects in the game. In addition to Ruiz and Smith, they have 2018 second-round pick Connor Wong and recently signed top Venezuelan catcher Diego Cartaya.
Rotation set Ross Stripling will start on Sunday and Kenta Maeda on Monday, manager Dave Roberts announced on Thursday, sticking with the six-man rotation for another cycle. At 100 innings, Stripling is on pace to throw more innings than any of his professional seasons, mostly because he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2014 and has been used judiciously ever since.
"Right now, just to give each guy an extra day, makes the most sense," said Roberts. "After Maeda, we will have to make a decision, because we have an off-day [Aug. 6] after they all make a turn."
And with six starters now, Roberts indicated a seventh is on the way, as Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a two-inning simulated game on Wednesday and has a three-inning simulated game scheduled for Saturday in Los Angeles.
"He's coming along well," said Roberts. "If Saturday goes well, probably a four-inning up and down makes sense."
Injury updates • Yasiel Puig went 1-for-4 with a single in his rehab game with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday night. Roberts said Puig will travel to Atlanta on Friday and be in the Dodgers' starting lineup on Saturday. He has been out since July 9 with a right oblique strain.
• Josh Fields (shoulder) apparently will be the next injured reliever to return, as he will face hitters in Arizona on Friday. Roberts said Tony Cingrani (shoulder) is three or four days behind Fields.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.