Kennedy to return from DL, start Saturday vs. Dodgers

After starting twice in righty's place, Despaigne will go back to bullpen

Kennedy to return from DL, start Saturday vs. Dodgers

DENVER -- If there was any suspense left regarding Saturday's starter at home against the Dodgers, manager Bud Black ended it with an announcement Thursday. The question was essentially whether Ian Kennedy was ready to return from the disabled list after straining his left hamstring in his first start or if Odrisamer Despaigne would get a third start after going 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 13 2/3 innings as a starter.

"Ian Kennedy is going to start," Black said before Thursday's series finale. "Despaigne will go back to the bullpen. We feel good about Ian's hamstring. All the reports from Arizona are that he threw the ball well.

Despaigne goes seven innings

Kennedy is one of two pitchers in the Opening Day rotation who logged over 200 innings last year. James Shields leads the pack with 227 innings as a Royal last year, and Kennedy follows with 201 innings in his first full season with San Diego. Tyson Ross threw 195 2/3 innings last year for the Friars.

"We're counting on Ian to be one of the anchors in our rotation," Black said. "This was a little bit of a hiccup with the strained hammy that put him on the DL and missed a couple spots, but he'll resume his spot in the rotation."

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.