Ryu gets tattooed and now there is a problem with the starting pitching? I do not consider Ryu anything more than a #7 on this team. I have no idea whether Ryu would have pitched better with regular rest or extended. Maybe his curve just does not work in Colorado. I have no delusions that Ryu will be anywhere close to the pitcher he was before his shoulder problems.
We are not even 25% through the season and some are worrying who the #2 will be in the post-season. I think I will be comfortable with Kershaw/Hill/Urias/Maeda/McCarthy. If Wood continues to do well as a starter then someone else goes to the pen. Where does Brock Stewart figure into any of the discussions? I believe that the five identified was the rotation that management (field and FO) pictured before going to ST. I would agree that the Kershaw/Hill/Urias works only if Hill is able to pitch. Last reports was that the blister was not a problem and he is expected to rejoin the rotation soon. Is it a coincidence that Maeda and Hill pitched on the same day, and that Maeda then went on the DL? Is it possible that Hill takes Maeda’s spot and pitches Monday or Tuesday in SF? It was just verified tonight that both Hill and McCarthy will pitch in SF, along with Kershaw.
Dave Roberts has since attempted to explain the situation. Here’s his best effort, courtesy of MLB.com:
“Actually there was a hamstring incident a few weeks ago,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We talked about putting him on the disabled list a few weeks ago, but he assured us that he could continue to make starts, which he did, and pitched well.
“We made that decision last night after we saw [Rich Hill’s rehab] outing. We’ve talked about our starting pitching depth for a long time, to act on it, to be prudent, and that’s kind of what made that ultimate decision.”
If Hill comes down with another blister next time out, or needs to go back on the DL with the same problem before trade deadline, then maybe some discussions will be made to find another #2. But who is available better than Urias or Wood or even Maeda/McCarthy? Does anyone really believe that the Rays are going to trade Archer for SVS/Kike’/Willie Calhoun/Andy Sopko/Edwin Rios/Kyle Garlick. Start with Buehler and Alveraz and go from there. Same with Jose Quintana. Maybe rentals like Yu Darvish, or Jeremy Hellickson, or Marco Estrada will come available. They will not be cheap either.
Are the Dodgers the only NL team with starting pitching concerns? The Nationals have had 8 SP. They cannot find a #5. Scherzer and Strasburg form a very good #1 and #2, but they are the same #1 and #2 the Dodgers beat last year. With Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark, the Nats have a solid and formidable rotation. The same people who want to criticize the Dodgers for their oft injured SP, give the Nats a pass with Strasburg. The Cubs have had 5 SP but will need a 6th now that Anderson is on the DL. But let’s compare them to Alex Wood who some have labeled not very good and certainly not top tier:
John Lackey 42.0 IP, 4.29 ERA, 11 BB, 46 K, 4.18 K/BB, 8 HR (1.7 HR/9)
Jon Lester 41.1 IP, 3.27 ERA, 16 BB, 40 K, 2.50 K/BB, 4 HR (0.9 HR/9)
Kyle Hendricks 39.2 IP, 3.40 ERA, 16 BB, 34 K, 2.13 K/BB, 5 HR (1.1 HR/9)
Jake Arrieta 38.2 IP, 5.35 ERA, 12 BB, 44 K, 3.67 K/BB, 6 HR (1.4 HR/9)
.Alex Wood 29.2 IP, 2.73 ERA, 10 BB, 38 K, 3.80 K/BB, 1 HR (0.3 HR/9)
So it would appear that other than innings pitched, Alex Wood is at least at the same level as the Cubs starters, and better in many ways. He has a better ERA, better HR/9, better K/9, and 2nd best K/BB ratio. Of the Cubs starters, none have pitched into the 8th inning. Lester into the 7th twice, Lackey Hendricks, and Arrieta only once. Is there something wrong with Arrieta? If he was a Dodger that would certainly be a topic of discussion.
I do not know if anyone has seen film on Wood when he was with the Braves, but he and others have said that his arm levels were higher and more consistent in 2014. It was only when he injured his foot in 2015 that his arm lowered and he developed the inconsistency. Dodgerrick would know far better than me if the foot injury had anything to do with his dropping of his arm, but he has said that it did. Wood has worked with Rick Honeycutt in the past two off-seasons to bring his arm back up to where he was when he was with Atlanta. The baseball people agree with him that his arm is up higher now as it was with Atlanta, and he is a different pitcher.
Before Friday’s game, Dodger starting pitchers have pitched 197.0 innings, good for 6th in NL and 11th in ML. The Cubs are 20th with 183.2 and the Mets and all of their wunderkids are 24th with 180.1. The Giants are #1 with 213.2 IP, but are 27th in ERA with 4.93. How’s those additional SP innings working for them? Sure the Dodgers pitching has question marks. But so do the other teams. The Cards starters are looking very good, but will Leake and Lynn continue to pitch to the level they are at? Will Wacha break down again? Will any of the Mets DL pitchers come back and be effective? Will Harvey become a prominent pitcher again? Will Strasburg stay healthy all year? Will Arrieta return to CY form? Before we write off Hill, can we at least get to July?
The last time I checked the team that scores the most runs at the end of a game is declared the winner. One of the ways to help with having more runs at the end of the game is to make sure that the other team does not score many. The Dodgers do that better than any team in the NL. Would I prefer a steady rotation of five? Yes, but as long as they are winning, I can accept the ins and outs from the DL.
Minor League Update:
OKC was 5-2 winners over the Fresno Grizzlies (Astros) – Another fine start for Justin Masterson. 7 IP (98 pitches) 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, and 6 strike outs. His ERA is down to 1.91. Madison Younginer pitched a perfect 8th and 9th for his 2nd save. Max Muncy and Darnell Sweeney each had a pair of hits, while Alex Verdugo had a 2 RBI night.
Tulsa beats Northwest Arkansas Naturals (KC) 9-4 – Tonight was Walker Buehler’s AA debut. It wasn’t stellar but he did not embarrass himself. 4 IP (53 pitches), 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts. Corey Copping pitched 2.1 in relief allowing 2 hits, no runs, with one strikeout to get his third win. Yaisel Sierra pitched the 9th inning to close out the win. Kyle Farmer (playing 3B tonight) and Jacob Scavuzzo each had three hits. Farmer is now back over .300 on the year. Tim Locastro and Edwin Rios added a pair of hits apiece. Johan Mieses added his 3rd HR of the year, and 2nd in two days.
Great Lakes lost to the Clinton Lumberjacks (Seattle) 8-3 – A.J. Alexy had a rough outing going 2.2 innings allowing 3 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, and 2 strikeouts. He threw 61 pitches with 29 being strikes. Chris Mathewson (3 IP) and Andre Scrubb making his GL debut (2 IP) pitched 5 solid innings in relief. Combined no hits, no runs, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts. Offensively, Keibert Ruiz continued his hot streak with 2 more hits, bringing his average up to .293.
RC Quakes lost to the Visalia Rawhide (DBacks) – Dennis Santana had a very rough outing. He went 4.1 innings allowing only two hits, but gave up 6 runs (4 earned) with 3 walks, 3 HBP, and 3 strikeouts. Spitzbarth had another perfect inning with 3 strikeouts. Drew Jackson had a two hit night. Will Smith got another hit and RBI, but also had 2 errors at 3B tonight.
Earlier in the week I indicated that OKC had 3 OF and 15 pitchers, and surmised that there would be some movement. I thought Kyle Garlick would get a chance at OKC and Luke Raley would get the bump to Tulsa. Instead OF Logan Landon was assigned to OKC directly from Rancho. Recently signed pitcher Logan Darnell was assigned to Extended Spring Training.