LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had no surprises on a conference call Tuesday, naming Rich Hill as his starter for Saturday's Game 2 of the best-of-five National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile and indicating Yu Darvish and Alex Wood will likely follow in Games 3 and 4
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had no surprises on a conference call Tuesday, naming Rich Hill as his starter for Saturday's Game 2 of the best-of-five National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile and indicating Yu Darvish and Alex Wood will likely follow in Games 3 and 4 against the D-backs.
Roberts earlier had announced that Clayton Kershaw will start Friday's Game 1 at Dodger Stadium, and said management has essentially set all but the last two roster spots for the series.
• NLDS Game 1: Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT on TBS
The Dodgers wanted Hill to start at Dodger Stadium (2.77 ERA at home this year, 4.06 on the road), but there was no preference for Darvish.
"We feel good with Rich pitching at home, he's comfortable and had a lot of success here," Roberts said. "And Yu feels comfortable pitching either at home or on the road."
Wood seems likely to start Game 4. However, Roberts left some wiggle room, even though on Sunday he insisted Kershaw won't pitch Game 4 on short rest.
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Roberts said Hyun-Jin Ryu would either start or not make the roster, because he is uncomfortable in relief, adding that Wood has "earned the opportunity to potentially get a long look as a starter. We don't want to announce it."
Assuming Wood starts Game 4, Roberts indicated the club will carry two left-handed relievers, after Luis Avilan was ruled out of the series on Sunday with shoulder inflammation. Avilan, who hasn't pitched since Sept. 21 and played catch on Sunday, has bullpen sessions set for Tuesday and Friday, then will be sent to Arizona to rehab to potentially return for the NL Championship Series presented by Camping World.
Roberts said that in addition to the 25-man active roster, a small group of players will travel with the club as a taxi squad, and another group will comprise a "stay-hot" camp at the Dodgers' Spring Training complex at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix to be sharp for the NLCS. Adrian Gonzalez (back injury) will be on the traveling taxi squad.
The final two roster spots, Roberts indicated, depend on whether the club carries seven or eight relievers and five or six bench players. Roberts said an extra bench player is more likely for a five-game series, while an extra reliever is more likely in a seven-game series. But the opponent is also a factor, as teams tend to use more relievers at Coors Field.
If the club carries an extra bench player, Roberts said speedy Tim Locastro, recalled from his home in New York on Friday, remains in the conversation for pinch-running. Locastro will be further tested in simulated games this week.
Roberts was non-committal on the roster status for left-handed-hitting outfielders Andre Ethier (likely because of recent usage) and Joc Pederson (unlikely).
Roberts said he's "definitely confident" right-hander Pedro Baez has worked out of his slump with four scoreless outings, stopping short of saying he's made the roster.
"Not sure 100 percent we've made that decision yet," Roberts said, "but he's been throwing the ball really well and he's had a great year."
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.