SAN FRANCISCO -- Struggling fifth starter Dan Haren will be skipped in the Dodgers' rotation next week, although manager Don Mattingly said it was decided before Haren's loss in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
"We were talking about it before the [All-Star] break, skipping Danny," said Mattingly. "We feel this is, in a sense, his All-Star break. We feel like we're giving him a breather we've given everybody else."
Skipping Haren became logical because of a scheduling quirk that had off-days sandwiched around the current three-game series with the Giants.
Haren has lost four consecutive starts, but Mattingly insisted the decision did not reflect a lack of confidence in the right-hander.
"In Pittsburgh, their leading winner has eight wins and Danny's got eight wins," he said. "Dan Haren has done a pretty good job. It's like we cut him up because he's not Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu. I take exception to people who want to throw him aside. At this pace, he'll win 14 or 15 games."
Haren won his first four decisions and had a 2.39 ERA through May 1. He has allowed runs in one of the first two innings 15 times in his last 16 starts. He leads the staff with 21 starts and is second with 122 1/3 innings pitched.
By skipping Haren, the Dodgers' rotation projects to have Josh Beckett, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitch the first four games on next week's homestand.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.