GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alex Wood is finally getting some respect.He had a breakout 2017 All-Star season, even though the club had him in the bullpen when the season started, but manager Dave Roberts said Wood will start Game 2 of the season. The Dodgers shuffle their starters so frequently it's
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alex Wood is finally getting some respect.
He had a breakout 2017 All-Star season, even though the club had him in the bullpen when the season started, but manager Dave Roberts said Wood will start Game 2 of the season. The Dodgers shuffle their starters so frequently it's tricky to rank anybody other than ace Clayton Kershaw, but Wood sure isn't complaining.
"To throw behind Clayton to start the season is obviously a great honor," said Wood, who threw five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in a 3-1 win over the A's on Monday night.
"We do things a little bit differently around here. We don't look at it as one, two, three, four, five. I think we have five guys that can throw in any spot. But to be on a team as good as we are and to throw second behind the greatest pitcher of our generation is pretty cool for sure. I'm happy and excited to go out there second."
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Roster gets trimmed
Immediately following Monday's game, the Dodgers sent four players to Minor League camp. They optioned pitchers Adam Liberatore and Dylan Baker and reassigned infielders Jake Peter and Donovan Solano.
The Dodgers have only two non-roster players in camp -- reliever Pat Venditte and catcher Rocky Gale. Venditte, who allowed a home run Monday night, is probably the only one with a longshot chance at a roster spot. Julio Urias is already on the disabled list and will be joined by Tom Koehler and Justin Turner, who suffered a broken left wrist after being hit by a pitch on Monday. Pitcher Wilmer Font and outfielder Trayce Thompson are out of options and longshots for Opening Day.
That leaves on the bubble Alvin Toles, James Farmer, Joc Pederson, Alex Verdugo, J.T. Chargois and Yimi Garcia. Chargois helped his chances Monday night by striking out the side in his only inning. He has a 1.29 ERA.
Thomas Stripling expects to be a long reliever, but on Monday he threw four innings in a Minor League game as the club wants him stretched out in case an emergency start is needed in the first few weeks. Over that time, Stripling will be considered the sixth starter, not Walker Buehler, who will probably inherit that role once he's stretched out. Buehler hasn't thrown more than two innings in an outing yet.
"It's obvious that Buehler is too good not to pitch," said Stripling. "So, eventually he'll get up there and the idea of him almost wasting innings in Triple-A when he has an inning limit, and he could be pitching in the big leagues. For now, the only guy left getting built up is me."
Pederson started in center field Monday and went 1-for-3 with a home run. Thompson started in right field and went 1-for-3 with a home run and two strikeouts and threw a runner out at third base. Enrique Hernandez started in left field and went 0-for-1 with a strikeout, while Toles came off the bench and was 0-for-1. Farmer came off the bench and was 0-for-1.
Kenta Maeda starts for the Dodgers on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. PT against the A's and opposite Paul Blackburn at Mesa, Ariz.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.