John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Mike Leake is set to rejoin the Giants’ rotation on Saturday, in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. Shea adds that Leake will be taking Chris Heston’s spot in the rotation, and Heston will head to Triple-A Sacramento for a breather.
Leake, 27, was expected to return from the disabled list on Tuesday, but his left hamstring injury didn’t heal up as quickly as anticipated. Leake said on Thursday that his hamstring still isn’t one hundred percent and might not be for the rest of the season. The right-hander has made just one start since the Giants acquired him from the Reds, holding the Rangers to two runs in 6 1/3 innings on August 2.
Heston hasn’t been able to complete the fifth inning in three of his last four starts. In his most recent start, he needed 104 pitches to record 14 outs against the Cardinals. Nevertheless, he has a productive 3.34 ERA with a 110/48 K/BB ratio in 145 2/3 innings.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.
The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.
Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.