What’s on Tap: Previewing Thursday’s action

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At long last, Hyun-Jin Ryu will return to the Dodgers’ starting rotation. The lefty hasn’t pitched since Game 3 of the 2014 NLCS against the Cardinals. He underwent shoulder surgery last year and has been rehabbing ever since.

The Dodgers signed Ryu, now 29, to a six-year, $36 million contract in December 2012. He turned out to be a quality starting pitcher, compiling a 3.00 ERA over 30 starts in 2013 and a 3.38 ERA over 26 starts in 2014. With the Dodgers’ rotation currently depleted due to injuries, Ryu’s return couldn’t have come at a better time. Clayton Kershaw is on the disabled list with a mild herniated disk. Alex Wood is expected to be out until early August with left elbow soreness. Brett Anderson won’t return until at least mid-August as he’s recovering from back surgery performed in March. Brandon McCarthy made his season debut on Sunday after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ryu will take the mound at 10:10 PM EDT tonight, facing Padres lefty Drew Pomeranz, who has been shockingly elite thus far.

The rest of Thursday’s action…

Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Drew Hutchison), 7:07 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Ivan Nova) @ Cleveland Indians (Trevor Bauer), 7:10 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Lucas Giolito) @ New York Mets (Bartolo Colon), 7:10 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves (Lucas Harrell) @ Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel), 8:05 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey) @ Texas Rangers (Chi Chi Gonzalez), 8:05 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Rich Hill) @ Houston Astros (Doug Fister), 8:10 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (James Paxton) @ Kansas City Royals (Danny Duffy), 8:15 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Adam Morgan) @ Colorado Rockies (Chad Bettis), 8:40 PM EDT

Anthony Volpe, 21, wins Yankees’ starting shortstop job

Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sp
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TAMPA, Fla. — Anthony Volpe grew up watching Derek Jeter star at shortstop for the New York Yankees.

Now, the 21-year-old is getting the chance to be the Yankees’ opening day shortstop against the San Francisco Giants.

The team announced after a 6-2 win over Toronto in spring training that Volpe had won the spot. New York manager Aaron Boone called the kid into his office to deliver the news.

“My heart was beating pretty hard,” said Volpe, rated one of baseball’s best prospects. “Incredible. I’m just so excited. It’s hard for me to even put into words.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, hitting coach Dillon Lawson and bench coach Carlos Mendoza were also present.

Volpe was able to share the news with his parents and other family members near the Yankees’ dugout and said it is something he will never forget.

“It was pretty emotional,” Volpe said. “It was just an unbelievable moment to share with them.”

Volpe, who grew up a Yankees fan, lived in Manhattan as a child before moving to New Jersey. Jeter was his favorite player.

“It’s very surreal,” Volpe said. “I’ve only ever been to games at Yankee Stadium and for the most part only watched him play there.”

Volpe is hitting .314 with three homers, five RBIs and a .417 on-base percentage in 17 Grapefruit League games. He has just 22 games of experience at Triple-A.

Spring training started with Volpe, Oswald Peraza and holdover Isiah Kiner-Falefa competing for the everyday shortstop job. Kiner-Falefa was shifted into a utility role midway through camp, and Peraza was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday evening.

“While certainly the performance was there, he killed it between the lines,” Boone said of Volpe. “All the other things that we’ve been hearing about showed up. There’s an energy he plays the game with, and an instinct that he has that is evident. He really checked every box that we could have had for him. Absolutely kicked the door in and earned his opportunity.”

Volpe arrived in Florida in December to work out at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

“He’s earned the right to take that spot, and we’re excited for him and excited for us,” Cashman said. “He just dominated all sides of the ball during February and March, and that bodes well obviously for him as we move forward.”

Volpe was selected out of high school with the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft from Delbarton School in New Jersey. He passed up a college commitment to Vanderbilt to sign with the Yankees.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get into the organization,” Volpe said. “This day, this feeling, this moment was kind of what I’ve worked my whole life for when I made that big decision.”

“Right now it’s crazy,” he added. “I don’t even know what lies ahead but Thursday I just want to go out and play, and have fun.”