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Maeda to LA 'pen as Wood starts Saturday

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Struggling starter Kenta Maeda will go to the bullpen to make room for the return of left-hander Alex Wood from the disabled list, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Wednesday.

Wood will start on Saturday, with Hyun-Jin Ryu getting the call on Sunday. Maeda will be available for long relief. Wood, the National League Pitcher of the Month for May, went on the DL on May 27 with inflammation in the SC joint near his sternum.

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LOS ANGELES -- Struggling starter Kenta Maeda will go to the bullpen to make room for the return of left-hander Alex Wood from the disabled list, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Wednesday.

Wood will start on Saturday, with Hyun-Jin Ryu getting the call on Sunday. Maeda will be available for long relief. Wood, the National League Pitcher of the Month for May, went on the DL on May 27 with inflammation in the SC joint near his sternum.

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"This is not temporary for Kenta. We need him to get back on track and pitch well," said Roberts. "He's open to it, and it's a credit to him as a teammate."

Video: Wood outstanding in month of May

Maeda, a 16-win workhorse last year, has a 5.16 ERA after back-to-back four-inning starts. The Dodgers chose to bump Maeda instead of Ryu, who has already been removed from the rotation once this year, but is coming off a seven-inning start Monday against Washington.

"It's Kenta understanding the value of giving us innings as a starter or in the 'pen, he's doing whatever's best for the team," Roberts said. "We're going with the five guys we feel give us the best chance to win right now. We did that with Hyun-Jin, and it was only one appearance [a four-inning save]. He was put back in the rotation with Alex's injury, and he's pitched well."

Roberts said he will be mindful of Maeda's history as a starting pitcher requiring significant warmup time before facing competition. Maeda has made one relief appearance in his career, in his rookie season for Hiroshima in 2008. His other 260 professional games have been starts, including 10 this year.

"I'll do everything I can to give him notice when we get him in the game," Roberts said.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood