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Dodgers adjust rotation, swap Hill, Maeda

Move separates lefties, helps prepare for season
MLB.com @kengurnick

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers have adjusted their Cactus League starting rotation with an apparent eye on the regular season.

With Opening Day starter Clayton Kershaw pitching on Sunday against Kansas City, the club has flipped Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda in their scheduled starts for Monday and Tuesday.

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers have adjusted their Cactus League starting rotation with an apparent eye on the regular season.

With Opening Day starter Clayton Kershaw pitching on Sunday against Kansas City, the club has flipped Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda in their scheduled starts for Monday and Tuesday.

Hill, who had been lined up to pitch on Monday, instead will start on Tuesday against the Reds at Camelback Ranch-Glendale, while Maeda will move up a day and start Monday against the Angels in Tempe.

The right-handed Maeda now separates the left-handers, Kershaw and Hill, a more traditional alignment for a group of starters that has four more lefties -- Julio Urias, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Wood and Scott Kazmir -- in competition with right-hander Brandon McCarthy for the final two rotation spots.

Video: LAD@CHC: Maeda strikes out Heyward swinging

Wood also started on Sunday, at night against the White Sox. Urias and Ryu are lined up to start Wednesday and Thursday, while Kazmir most recently threw on Saturday, working on mechanics, and his next day to pitch is Thursday.

A decision on who remains in contention for the last two rotation spots is likely to be made soon, because there aren't enough Cactus League innings to prepare all of them for early April.

Management is considering keeping Urias in extended Spring Training to limit his innings, although they continue to hedge on a commitment because of other unknowns.

"The industry is not used to a guy like Julio," manager Dave Roberts said. "We still have some time, still have ability to build him up and we don't know how the rest of the guys are going to play out. To make a decision right now is kind of unfair to everyone, especially Julio. As we get closer to breaking camp, we'll have a clearer idea of who the five are going to be."

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda