Kuroda to start Dodgers’ season opener, Billingsley to get home opener

Joe Torre told us this morning, just as he headed out the door to play golf on the team’s final off-day of the spring. It wasn’t an off-day for Chad Billingsley, as he pitched five innings in a minor-league intrasquad game. He gave up three runs on five hits, including a two-run homer to Dodgers infield prospect Austin Gallagher, but he threw a spring-high 76 pitches and said afterward he felt great and had a chance to work on a lot of things. He threw a TON of changeups.
As for the rotation, it sounds like Kuroda’s playoff performance, and the fact he really is a veteran even though he technically was a rookie last year, played a big factor here. He’ll start the April 6 opener at San Diego. And Billingsley, who was the regular-season ace and led the team with 16 wins, will start the third game in San Diego on April 8 — and more importantly, he now gets to start the home opener against the Giants on April 13.
Randy Wolf will pitch Game 2 on April 7, Clayton Kershaw Game 4 on April 9, also at San Diego. The fifth starter is yet to be determined.
What this does is allow the club to stagger the rotation right-left-right-left through the first four spots, although there is a good chance the fifth starter also will be a lefty (Eric Milton?).