Young starters Julio Urias, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin competing for postseason role

We know one thing about the pitcher who will fill the No. 3 spot in the Dodgers’ postseason rotation.

He will be young.

The Dodgers cleared the way for Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin to compete for that October role in September by trading Ross Stripling to the Toronto Blue Jays and moving Alex Wood to the bullpen.

Among the trio remaining in the rotation, only Urias has started a postseason game. The Dodgers handed him the ball for Game 4 of the 2016 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs. Twenty years old at the time, Urias didn’t make it through four innings, giving up the first four runs in a 10-2 loss that evened the series (eventually won by the Cubs in six games).

May made two relief appearances totalling 3 1/3 innings in last year’s NLDS loss to the Washington Nationals. Gonsolin has yet to make his first postseason appearance.

“That’s not my decision,” Urias said through an interpreter, having made 10 postseason appearances in relief over the past two falls. “All I can do is give 100 percent. … It’s a very competitive team. There’s a lot of talent here and I’m going to accept whatever role they give me and give 100 percent.”

It is a competitive situation with one of the three candidates likely to land in the postseason bullpen (perhaps in a ‘piggy-backing’ arrangement with one of the young starters). But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts doesn’t want the trio to focus on the downside of that.

“I don’t think we ever had an intention (by trading away Stripling and moving Wood to relief) where if they had a bad start or appearance, that it changed their role,” Roberts said. “When you have a lot of pieces and trying to find a way for them to work — that was more the drive.

“I don’t like to think of it as pressure or now lack of pressure. I think it should be the same mindset for these guys to go out there and pitch well until I take the baseball from them. … We have a lot of good pitchers — starters and relievers. Roles, as we look out, are going to change. That’s just the way it goes. But our encouragement is go out there and pitch as well as you can and compete.”

With 17 games left on the schedule after Tuesday, Urias and Gonsolin are in line to make three more starts each. May could get a fourth.

Headed to the alternate training site when Clayton Kershaw injured his back on the eve of the season’s start, the 23-year-old May has instead become a fixture in the Dodgers’ rotation. In eight starts, he has yet to allow more than two runs in any outing and earned praise recently from Roberts for having navigated the big-league learning curve “extremely” quickly.

“I think as a young player he’s very curious — not vocally,” Roberts said. “But he’s very observant about what’s going on, watching the game, watching hitters, understanding what he does well. You take that with the skill set and that speaks to an accelerated learning curve, for sure.”

FATHER TIME

The Dodgers placed outfielder Joc Pederson on the paternity list Tuesday. Pederson left the team Sunday to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

Roberts said he expects Pederson to spend the maximum three games on the paternity list and then rejoin the Dodgers when they open a series at home against the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Reliever Josh Sborz was activated from the taxi squad to take Pederson’s place on the roster for the series in Arizona.

BULLPEN PROGRESS

Reliever Joe Kelly (on the Injured List with shoulder inflammation) threw about 20 pitches to hitters on Monday and it went “really well,” according to Roberts. Kelly is expected to throw to hitters again Wednesday “and then we’ll see where we’re at.”

Kelly will have to serve a five-game suspension as soon as he is activated, leaving little time for him to get game action before the postseason.

“No. 1, if Joe is healthy and he continues to build on his outing yesterday I see no reason we won’t be able to get him activated to then serve the suspension and then get him in four or five games (before the end of the regular season),” Roberts said. “Certainly how he’s throwing the baseball matters. We’ll know more in time. But we’re certainly better with him than without him.”

Pedro Baez (on the IL with a groin injury) is scheduled to throw another simulated inning to hitters on Wednesday and could be activated later this week.