Dodgers rookie pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu watches an exhibition game Saturday… (Rob Tringali / Getty Images )
PHOENIX – Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to make his major league debut April 2 in the Dodgers’ second game of the regular season.
The Dodgers had the choice of starting either Ryu or Chad Billingsley on that day. But Billingsley’s pitching schedule has been altered, ruling him out for April 2.
To keep both on schedule to potentially pitch April 2, the Dodgers had planned for Ryu and Billingsley to throw in separate games on Thursday in Southern California.
Ryu will pitch in the opening game of the Freeway Series in Anaheim.
Wanting to have the option of placing Billingsley on the disabled list retroactively to March 22, the Dodgers planned for him to pitch in a split-squad exhibition at Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. But the Dodgers were told by the league office that if they started Billingsley in Rancho Cucamonga, Friday would count as his first day on the disabled list, which would postpone his regular-season debut.
So, Billingsley is now scheduled to pitch Friday in a minor league game in Arizona, enabling the Dodgers to retain the option of putting him on the DL retroactive to March 22.
Billingsley would be in line to start April 3 in the series finale against the San Francisco Giants, but the Dodgers are set on starting Josh Beckett that day.
Clayton Kershaw will start the season opener Monday. Zack Greinke figures to pitch the fourth game, against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 5.
A rookie left-hander from South Korea, Ryu held the Chicago White Sox to one hit over seven innings in his most recent start. Ryu has posted a 3.86 earned-run average in six spring appearances.
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