As we reached the point today of two weeks before Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch, I decided to embark on a frivolous exercise. The Dodgers, if they so choose, don't have to use a fifth starter until Apr. 13.

There are rather large reasons why thinking of such a thing is futile, including the fact that it's Jan. 29, nearly nine weeks before opening day. Vin Scully has reminded us of such foolishness time and time again, saying, "If you want to make God smile, tell him your plans."

Another reason this errand is likely foolish is that the Dodgers at this moment have eight starting pitchers under contract for 2013. That will likely very well change before the season, either via trade(s) or injury, existing or otherwise. But for a moment, let's at least humor the idea.

Going into the season, which starts Apr. 1 at home against the Giants, players can be placed on the disabled list with a retroactive date up to 10 days prior to opening day, provided that they didn't play in any major league spring training games during that span. So starting a player on the disabled list to open the season doesn't necessarily mean he has to miss much time at all, and it could be as little as five days.