Torre will commit soon

Updated: March 18, 2010, 3:10 PM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Thursday morning he will announce the team's Opening Day starter by the end of the week.

Although Torre gave no hint as to the identity of that pitcher, logic still points to left-hander Clayton Kershaw.

Based on a schedule of pitching every fifth day, Kershaw isn't perfectly lined up for the April 5 opener in Pittsburgh -- he last pitched in a minor-league intrasquad game on Wednesday, lining him up to pitch on April 6, which is an off-day.

However, a starting pitcher typically goes short in his final spring tuneup, which for Kershaw would be on April 1 against Cleveland at Dodger Stadium.

If he were to only throw three innings or so in that game, he could easily come back for the opener on three days' rest.

None of the other three certainties for the starting rotation -- right-handers Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla -- is lined up to pitch on April 5.

Billingsley was scheduled to start against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, lining him up to pitch the second game of the season on April 7 at Pittsburgh and the home opener April 13 against Arizona.

Kuroda is lined up to pitch April 8 at Pittsburgh, Padilla April 9 at Florida.

Theoretically, Kershaw would then make his second start against the Marlins on April 10, with a yet-to-be-named fifth starter going in the final game of the season-opening trip on April 11 before Billingsley would get the ball for the home opener two days later following an off-day on April.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com