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Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu to start Saturday, pushing Clayton Kershaw back a day

Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu to start Saturday, pushing Clayton Kershaw back a day
Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (99) pitches against the San Francisco Giants on April 2, 2019. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will come off the injured list and start against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, pushing Clayton Kershaw’s scheduled start to Sunday, manager Dave Roberts announced Thursday.

Ryu was placed on the 10-day injured list April 9 after sustaining a left groin strain against the St. Louis Cardinals the previous day. Ryu tore the groin last season, but this episode was immediately diagnosed as minor. Ryu, who usually doesn’t throw bullpens between starts, logged a 40-pitch bullpen session Monday at Dodger Stadium and was deemed ready to join the club.

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“There’s a balance between getting him back in there where he’s sharp after throwing his 40-pitch ‘pen versus staying away from him too long where he gets rusty,” Roberts said. “So we just felt that taking everything into account, getting him on Saturday, giving Clayton an extra day, just made the most sense.”

Kershaw limited the Cincinnati Reds to two runs in seven innings in his season debut Monday following two rehab starts. He’ll have an extra day of rest before facing the Brewers on Sunday for the first time since closing out Game 7 of the National League Championship Series with a scoreless inning in October.

“I just don’t think an extra day is going to hurt him,” Roberts said. “I think it’s going to help him and he’ll be fine. He’s fine with it.”

Ryu’s return will send Julio Urias to the bullpen, Roberts confirmed. Urias made his fourth start of the season Thursday against the Brewers, but the original plan was for the left-hander to spend the bulk of the season as a reliever in order to limit his workload. But injuries to Kershaw and Rich Hill forced the Dodgers to adjust and begin the season with Urias as a starter. Roberts said he will get two or three days off after Thursday’s start before appearing in a game out of the bullpen.

Hill to make another rehab start

Rich Hill believes he’s ready to join the Dodgers’ rotation. He provided the evidence with four scoreless innings for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday. But Roberts said the veteran left-hander will make a second rehab start before coming off the 10-day injured list.

Roberts explained that the club wants to build Hill’s arm strength to 90 pitches before he makes his debut. He’ll likely make the next rehab outing Monday before being activated. The team hasn’t decided where he’ll make the start.

“Rich is throwing the ball well, which is great, which is most important,” Roberts said. “He’s healthy. But to build up him again for another start is probably the best thing to do for the Dodgers.”

Hill, 39, began the season on the injured list with a strained medial collateral ligament in his left knee that he suffered in a spring training game in mid-March. A scout in attendance for his outing in Lake Elsinore on Wednesday described his performance as “vintage.” His fastball sat between 89 and 91 mph to complement a “plus” curveball.

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