GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There were no surprises when Don Mattingly confirmed this week's starting rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dan Haren for the first four exhibition games, beginning Wednesday.
But Mattingly still won't be pinned down on who will start the first two games of the regular season during the Opening Series in Australia against the D-backs.
"We're getting four guys ready because we don't know what's going to happen between here and there," he said.
The Dodgers are considering holding back Kershaw because of workload concerns. Then there are the complicated roster rules that apply for the trip, as 30 players can make the flight with 25 active for the games. Up to three players can be designated as "exempt," meaning they can't play in Australia but can be activated for the March 30 game in San Diego.
One essentially ruled out by Mattingly for Australia is Josh Beckett, who is coming off surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Beckett is throwing well and hasn't had a setback, but he also is being given an extra day between throw days to focus on core strengthening.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less