PHOENIX -- For now, the Dodgers don't see starter Kenta Maeda as the solution to their bullpen problems, even though he came to the rescue during the postseason last year."It makes sense, for the sole reason we've seen it before, but right now, the value of Kenta making those starts
PHOENIX -- For now, the Dodgers don't see starter Kenta Maeda as the solution to their bullpen problems, even though he came to the rescue during the postseason last year.
"It makes sense, for the sole reason we've seen it before, but right now, the value of Kenta making those starts for us, to really try to figure out with the guys we have, to get them going, before pivoting," manager Dave Roberts said.
The speculated scenario would have Maeda move to the bullpen and Walker Buehler, the club's No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, move into the starting rotation.
"Walker is an option down the road, sooner than later, but right now, we're not to the point where we feel we have to essentially overhaul the bullpen," Roberts said. "Right now, Kenta is a starter, he's earned it. Right now, internally, we're not talking about it."
The implication from Roberts is that if the Dodgers needed one role filled -- such as a setup reliever -- Maeda would be in play. But most of the club's relievers have struggled over the season's first five weeks.
Roberts edged closer to announcing probable starters for the weekend series in Monterrey, Mexico, against the Padres.
Roberts said Buehler would likely be recalled to start Friday and Maeda would start Saturday. The club is hopeful that Rich Hill will start in Sunday's series finale, assuming his injured left middle finger continues to improve.
Currently on the disabled list after the nail on that finger split, Hill had his return pushed back when the finger developed an infection in a different area.
Roberts said he expects outfielder Yasiel Puig, currently on the disabled list with contusions on his left hip and left ankle, to be activated Tuesday.
Second baseman John Forsythe, on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, is likely to begin a Minor League rehab assignment this weekend. But Roberts said he had "no idea" when Justin Turner (broken left wrist) would begin an assignment.
Reliever Tom Koehler, on the disabled list since Spring Training with a strained right shoulder, has started throwing, but he's not close to a rehab assignment.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.