I’m talking about the Dodgers 2017 starting rotation.
Much has been written about the staff and many fans assume that guys like Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who have extensive injury histories will just be injured again… and they may be right, but I happen to feel the odds are against that. Then again, the odds were against the Dodgers having more injuries than a Chicago Emergency Room on a Saturday Night and then coming back to almost get to the World Series.
Yeah, maybe none of those guys will be healthy and maybe they will all end up on the disabled list. However, by all first reports, all three pitchers are throwing free and easy. It is possible that all three may be ready, willing and able come opening day. Then what? OK, let’s see, Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Julio Urias are also all ready willing and able to start the season in the rotation. Then there is Brock Stewart, Ross Stripling and Alex Wood who all started last year and are very viable options this season.
That’s 10 (count ’em, ten) possible starters. Wood, Stripling, Urias and Stewart can be optioned, but I do not think Urias will be optioned. It sends the wrong message to a guy who will be the Dodgers #2 THIS YEAR! That’s a whole another issue: How do you limit his innings? That’s the real question. Rich Hill was remarkable… and injured last year. I would not bet he would make 32 starts this year, but I think it might be more than 25.
We have all heard that Kenta Maeda’s arm is likely to fall off, but it is actually still attached, the last time I checked. Here’s the deal: I have REPEATEDLY found that conventional wisdom (or cynicism) is usually wrong. If you believe the injury bug will continue to plague the Dodgers, I think you are going to be sorely mistaken. What if Wood, McCarthy, Ryu and Kazmir are all healthy? Look, all four are quality pitchers and there are many teams that needs quality pitchers.
The Dodgers could trade a healthy Ryu, McCarthy, Kazmir and Wood in packages with players like Gonzalez and Ethier for more prospects. Now, I would believe that if all the pitchers I mentioned are healthy, it would be a miracle… but it is possible.
Here’s the truth: There could be some trades, this spring or at the All-Star Break… or anytime in-between. I confess that I do not have a clue what that trade will be. These guys are not afraid to flip players in a month or more, but if you think that there is no market for Wood, Ryu, McCarthy or Kazmir (if they are healthy), you have not been paying attention ton the state of starting rotations in MLB.
All I know is that Kershaw, Hill, Maeda and Urias are a formidable staff.. and there are six other pitchers to fill that number 5 position! I like the odds that we will find at least one good one… and WOW!!! There could be some major trades. Maybe, just maybe Wood, Stripling, Stewart and Urias all get optioned and Hill and Maeda are on the DL to start the season, because of shin splints (or some other aberration).
Could this be the rotation to start the season?
I know – you think I am crazy! Like a fox. Expect the unexpected. This is not a prediction, just an exercise in thinking!
Today’s Music Video