Updated February. 27, 2014 06:25
Ryu Hyun-jin, a South Korean starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball, will likely be the starter at the team`s opening game in Australia. The Dodgers is unlikely to put Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke, its one-two punch, on the mound at the opening match. Although the Dodgers have yet to make any official announcement, Ryu is expected to be the starter at the March 22 opener in Sidney, Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Los Angeles Times also reported that Ryu is the most likely starter at the opening game if Kershaw is not on the roster. Considering a large Korean population in Australia, Ryu`s starting pitching is also expected to have significant market effects.
Kershaw and Greinke are not scheduled to get aboard the flight to Sidney the former for protection and the latter for his complaints about the opening game in Sidney. Kershaw pitched 259 innings last year, including post-season games, the highest number of innings in history. Matt Cain, who used to be the ace for the San Francisco Giants, slumped last season with 4.00 in earned run average (ERA), after pitching 249 and one-third innings with an ERA of 2.79 in 2012. The time difference between Sidney and the U.S. west coast is 19 hours.
The Major League Baseball sometimes hosts season opening games overseas. In 2012, the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics of the American League West had two opening matches in Tokyo, Japan in 2012. The Sidney opening game will be the first in two years. After the Sidney opening games, the Dodgers will return to the United States, and will have three exhibition games before a U.S. opening match on March 30 against the San Diego Padres.
The 2012 opening match between the Mariners and the Athletics went smoothly despite the 17-hour time difference. Unlike the Sidney game, the Mariners-Athletics game in Tokyo took place at the end of the exhibition games. After the opening games at the Tokyo Dome on March 28 and 29, the two teams had their official opening game in Oakland, California eight days later.