MINNEAPOLIS — What's worse than playing 16 baseball games in 16 days? How about 16 games in 15 days?
That's the challenge facing the Dodgers after Tuesday's game in Minnesota was postponed by rain and cold. It is scheduled to be made up as part of a doubleheader Thursday, after which the team will fly to Miami to begin a three-game series with the Marlins on Friday.
All those plans depend on the weather, of course. And in Minneapolis in April, that's not a good thing to depend on. Forecasts for Wednesday and Thursday call for near-freezing temperatures and a mix of snow and rain.
The Dodgers say they will start Zack Greinke (4-0, 2.45 earned-run average) Wednesday and are likely to use Dan Haren and Josh Beckett in Thursday's doubleheader. But after that things get a little dicey since Greinke's next regular turn in the rotation would be Sunday against Marlins ace Jose Fernandez.
Since the Dodgers won't use Greinke on short rest, they are likely to reach down to triple-A Albuquerque for reinforcements, possibly to former first-round draft pick Zach Lee. However, that would require another move since Lee would have to be added to the 40-man roster.
The Dodgers would benefit in the short term if at least one more game in Minnesota is rained out, because they could stay with their current starting rotation. But that would complicate things down the road because the Dodgers would have to make a trip to Minneapolis for any makeup game.
The best date for that might be May 19, one of three scheduled days off the Twins and Dodgers share. The Dodgers play an afternoon game in Phoenix the day before and a night game in New York the day after, making a stopover in Minneapolis convenient. But it would also force the team to play 20 games in 20 days.
Either way, it's not good news for a sagging bullpen that entered Tuesday having thrown more innings than all but one team in the majors. And no reliever has appeared in more games than Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who has pitched in 16 of his team's 26 games.
The Dodgers made a move Tuesday to bolster their bullpen, recalling left-hander Paco Rodriguez from Albuquerque and sending down infielder Carlos Triunfel. Dodgers coaches and players were not available to the media, but Triunfel's demotion could mean that Hanley Ramirez's injured hand has healed to the point where he can play every day.
Tuesday's rainout, which was announced more than six hours before game time, was the third weather-related postponement at Target Field this season and the 11th since the ballpark opened in 2010.
Previously, the Twins played their home games indoors at the Metrodome.
Test for Clayton Kershaw
The Dodgers' pitching staff could receive a boost soon if Clayton Kershaw's rehabilitation start Wednesday for double-A Chattanooga goes well.
Kershaw, who is recovering from a strained muscle in his upper back, hasn't pitched for the Dodgers since their season opener in Australia last month. But he could return to the rotation as early as Monday if he emerges pain-free from Wednesday's game.
The reigning Cy Young Award winner made 56 pitches in a five-inning rehab assignment last week for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.
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