Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Not Planning To Deploy 6-Man Starting Rotation In Second Half

The Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation was among the best in baseball during the first half of the season, led by plenty of star power at the forefront and valuable depth in the backend.

The trio of Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler represented the organization at the 2019 All-Star Game, while the likes of Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling and Julio Urias rounded out the staff with noteworthy contributions of their own.

Considering the collection of talent and the limited amount of spots available in the starting rotation, the Dodgers have taken advantage of their depth by moving some of the aforementioned names to the bullpen.

Stripling and Urias bolstered the unit in recent weeks while also demonstrating a capability to start when necessary. One can hypothetically step in on a permanent basis should the Dodgers decide to deploy a six-man rotation at any point in the second half.

While that possibility lingers, manager Dave Roberts recently stated there are no current plans to shift away from the club’s current five-man rotation, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

“Right now, there’s no thought of that,” Roberts said. “It’s about going and continuing to pitch to help us win a baseball game. I think that conversation, with all of our starters, happens in the end of August, beginning of September, as we look forward. But right now, we’re just going like we always have.”

Given that the calendar is just about to turn to August and the Dodgers are still a ways off from accomplishing their goals in the regular season, it makes sense that Roberts wants to keep a five-man starting rotation in tact for the foreseeable future.

Though, if Roberts ultimately changes his mind as the season progresses, it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Dodgers at times utilized a six-man rotation over parts of 2018, specifically with Buehler’s emergence as one of the sport’s brightest young pitchers.

With Los Angeles on pace to clinch the National League West in record time, it would present Roberts a unique opportunity to potentially give some of his pitchers a breather toward the end of the regular season in September.

Roberts specifically mentioned Urias as one candidate that can step into the starting rotation on a permanent basis this season, which he has done over parts of his career.

Of course, whether or not the Dodgers expand their rotation is also related to health. Hill is not expected to return until September, and Stripling is due to miss multiple starts because of right biceps tendinitis that spawned from a neck issue.