Saturday was an eventful day for the Dodgers as Hyun-Jin Ryu and Trayce Thompson made their first official appearances of the season. Ryu is coming back from elbow and shoulder surgeries on his chicken wing and Thompson is only overcoming a broken back. I have to believe that Trayce will start the season at AAA, along with Andrew Toles – it won’t hurt either of them to play every day at OKC, but Ryu has a shot at making the rotation at the start of THIS season although, I still believe he will start at AAA to build arms strength. There’s still three weeks to go. You never know…
Ryu allegedly was dialing it up to 91 MPH. If that is true, then that is very good news considering how little he has pitched. I thought he looked outstanding and I was pleasantly surprised. Ryu reported no pain in his shoulder or elbow. If true, that is also great news. If Ryu can be anything close to what he was in 2013 and 2014, then the rotation is dramatically improved. Of course, there are a lots of other options as well – I don’t need to name them all… you know who they are.
Right here, right now, it looks like Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu are healthy, but my bet is that Ryu spends a few starts in AAA. I have also heard some say that Julio Urias might stay behind in Arizona (extended Spring Training) or start at AAA. What? When you pitch at AAA, the innings don’t count? That’s silly! Urias will either stay behind or start the season in the rotation. If it were me, I would hold him out about 3 weeks. Then, I would unleash the Kracken! Maybe a DL stint or two during the year as well, but why would anyone even consider having him go to AAA? The innings count there the same as MLB – you might as well have him in the rotation.
If Urias and Ryu don’t break with the team, then this is what I think the rotation will look like in April:
I know it’s dangerous to assume, but I think Kazmir is toast (yeah, I am reading the reports that say otherwise) and so he is outta’ my plan. By the end of April, Urias and Ryu should be ready… and then what? I see Ross Stripling as the swingman. Barring injury, Romo and Jansen make the team, so that makes eight pitchers. That leaves four spots open. I can’t imagine that Dayton won’t have one of those spots. Pedro Baez is likely to start the season on the DL and Avilan has no options, and neither does Hatcher, so this is their shot – they have few weeks to step up or shut up!
That leaves one spot left – Fields, Liberatore or Morrow? Morrow is not on the 40-man, so I am not sure what happens there. I think Fields gets the final spot, but KNOW THIS: the look of this pitching staff WILL ABSOLUTELY CHANGE DRAMATICALLY before the season is over – in ways we can never imagine. Morrow could be up later. Liberatore WILL be up later.
I can also see Walker Buehler ending the season in the pen. You are going to need a scorecard, people. You are going to see musical chairs like you can’t imagine. The pitching staff is taking shape, but there is a lot to be decided. This is a deep, deep staff with lots of arms and FAZ will use that 10 day DL like a farmer uses a rented mule.
And then, there’s always the chance for a trade….
Rants and Raves
- Doug Padilla of ESPN has a great read on Cody Bellinger: Budding Superstar! He’s ready, I am telling you!
- Brett Eibner is a very good CF. Very, Very Good!
- Stetson Allie is organizational depth.
- Yasiel Sierra doesn’t look overpowering but he has looked very good.
- Darnell Sweeney has little chance of making the team despite a good Spring.
- Chris Taylor is making the Utilityman job a tough call between himself and Kike. He has done nothing to tarnish his star.
- Dylan Hernandez of THE LA TIMES really nails the situation with Yasiel Puig It’s a great read.
- FAZ HATERS: Don’t Read This: Andrew Toles Credits Sabermetrics for Emergence
- There are lots of good reads on the Dodger Dashboard today!
- Oh, I almost forgot – Adam asked about the WBC and said he didn’t care about it. Neither do I! I can’t watch it. Now, if they really had all the players – the Trouts, Kershaws, Bumgarners and all those – then I would be into it. It’s no dream team!
- You may or may not know that I am a Big Duke Blue Devil Fan- 4 wins in 4 days to win the ACC Championship. Coach K is amazing because when he loses, it’s his fault and when he wins, it’s because of his players. Players run through walls for him. BTW, I think the ACC will have 10 teams in the tournament.
That’s one of my favorite songs!