Is Dodger Starting Pitching More Questionable Than Others???

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.

Posted by Always Compete

This article has 48 Comments

  1. Baseball, as families and life, has it’s ups and downs, good and bad. It’s a long-haul proposition that we need to be looking at. Viewing any part of it over a short period of time can and often will create a false narrative. When one’s own confirmation bias is added to the short term view it has the knack of creating a magnitude of misconceptions. Add a little euphoic vitriol and you can easily end up with…well we left that behind, didn’t we.

    Your long-term view and acceptance of the bad with the good makes for a high-point vista from which to view the season. While most of us remain laserd into the Dodgers team, some seeing only the weak points, it’s good to be reminded that all teams have both strengths and weakness. And when you can’t have a team loaded with career year players or everybody you want, it’s nice to have the proverbial “depth”.

  2. Mark
    I am not worried about our starting pitchers. We have seven competing for five positions. It is their job to figure out the five or six. Right now I would prefer the six man rotation. Kershaw stays on the five day, Wood to the pen, rest on a six day rotation. I know Ryu, Maeda and Urias could use the extra rest. Maybe McCarthy could also use the rest. Let them compete for the other four positions. Wood looks good wherever you put him. This leaves you with one less bench player. When Agon comes back and Bellinger goes to left field, you will have a starting eight. Forsythe will start at second when he comes back. That is what I would do. FAZ and Roberts will figure it out.

    It looks like the league has adjusted to Taylor. It is now up to him to adjust.

  3. Bellinger is just a good hitter. They threw him a high fastball the other night and he hits a home run. Last night he hits a low fastball for a home run. He reminds me of Yogi Berra.

  4. Great post AC, just outstanding! I can’t add much to your opinion of the starting rotation except to say Ryu has had trouble keeping his velocity up and his stuff may play very well in the bullpen and he would add another lefty to replace Wood who has earned a spot in the rotation. Ryu has 1 win and 4 losses as well. Maeda and McCarthy are both RHP and a little balance is needed with so many LHP. I like the idea of a 6 man rotation except for Kershaw more than doing the 10 day DL shuffle but whatever works is fine with me, hard to argue with the results so far.

    It is good to see Utley, Grandal and Joc beginning to produce, hopefully it keeps up and rewards Roberts for his patience and loyalty. When Forsythe and AGon return there will not be enough at bats for Taylor, Utley and Kike, unless Gutierrez is DL’d again. Someone will have to go down and it won’t be Utley.

    Dodgers with the 3rd best record in the NL and 7th best in baseball. Who is the biggest surprise team? There are the Rockies and DBacks of course but what about Houston with a very young team and the best record in baseball and an early 8 game lead? Or the O’s and Yankees getting just enough pitching to go along with potent bats?

    1. Vegas, good question on the surprises. I am not as surprised about Colorado as I am with Arizona. Arizona’s pitching has been much better than anticipated. Greinke is looking more like 2015 than 2016, Ray is pitching well, Walker has been a good addition, and maybe they found something in Godley. Colorado’s pitching showed life last year, but with their two rookie pitchers and with Holland, they should be formidable until October.
      .
      Houston’s play is not as much of a surprise. They fooled all of us in 2015 with their play, so this is more of a continuation of 2015 than 2016. Kuechel and McCullers are pitching as I would have expected. Correa and Altuve continue to perform. Bregman is going to be a star. I like that team.
      .
      To me the surprises are the Giants, Red Sox, Rangers, and Blue Jays for their dismal starts. Even with Price going down, I thought the BoSox had enough pitching with Sale, Porcello, and Rodriguez to get by. The Blue Jays have no answer to losing Sanchez and Happ. The Rangers were a problem before Hamels went down. With Beltre out and with Odor, Napoli, DeShields, Gallo, off to horrendous starts, I look to see a potential fire sale. Perhaps the Giants should not be a big surprise, but with the addition of Melancon, I thought they would be competitive. I guess Dodgers depth is a plus.I
      .
      The Reds and Twins are the positive surprises for me. While the Twins’ Santana was not a surprise, Santiago has to be. They have absolutely no other pitching. Sano has been a surprise. I would never have expected the Twins or Reds to be competitive at this stage. I think that also says something about the poor start by both Cleveland and the Cubs.

    1. Al, no problem. Now if you do not like what was written go ahead and reply to Mark.

  5. AC

    I think the difference with Hendricks, Lester, Arrieta, and Wood, is that these Cubs pitchers, were able to pitch deeper into games, when it was needed last year, then Wood has, since he joined the team.

    I didn’t include Lackey because I don’t think that is true, about Lackey at this time, in his career.

    Maybe Wood will get better, at pitching deeper into games, by pitching in the rotation more on a regular basis, and with his new found, velocity.

    I don’t think Ryu is as bad as he looked the other day, and I don’t understand why they are giving Hill what would be Ryu’s next start, which would be against, the Giants.

    Because Ryu pitched well against the Giants the last time he faced them, he only allowed two runs, in that start.

    What has Hill proven at this point, other then he may not have a blister problem, this time around?

    I don’t think giving Hill Ryu’s next start, will help our problems, with the starting rotation, or will help Ryu.

    It is to early to have these starting pitchers, to take ten days off in between starts, the season just began, and that is what they did, to Ryu.

    The starters are trying to build off their prior starts, to get better, right now.

    And giving the starters a ten day rest, is not letting them, build off their prior starts.

    And I think if Hill had to make that start that Ryu did in Colorado, he wouldn’t have done any better.

    Because of the way the altitude has an effect, on breaking balls, and how can Hill have any better command then Ryu has right now, with the few games he has started, and the few innings, he has pitched?

    Hill hasn’t started and pitched in many games, and he hasn’t pitched beyond, only a few innings.

    He also hasn’t even faced AAA hitters, let alone, major league hitters, how do we know he is more ready then Ryu is, to start against the Giants?

    I think Ryu’s command suffered from the ten day lay off, they gave him.

    And I think that along with the effect that the altitude had on his curve balls, is what did him in, in his last start.

    And by pushing his next start back by two days, isn’t going to help Ryu.

    Instead they should have Ryu make his next start, and have Hill make the start, that is two days later.

    Almost every time Hill has started a game, he has not been able to pitch more then a couple innings, and this has caused the team, to over use the bullpen, that day.

    1. I guess I am irritated, that they put Ryu in that situation, in the first place.

      And he stayed out there, and took one, for the team.

      I think because of that, Ryu deserves his next start in five days, to build off his last start, and to prove himself, again.

      1. MJ, you can be irritated and support Ryu. I am sure Bums gets irritated about the use of Joc and the side commentary. I am sure Mark gets irritated with the commentary on Grandal. And I know that I get irritated with how Wood is moved in and out of the rotation and then the commentary that he cannot pitch late into games. I get irritated at people that want to quit on Hill, when I believe IF he is healthy, he gives the Dodgers the best chance at a solid #2. We all have players we root for a little more than others, and are upset when they are put in a situation where they may not succeed, and then fans say I told you so. All Dodger fans pull for Ryu even if they do not think he belongs in the rotation. If you put 50 people in a room you will get 50 different ways to structure the roster and manage from the field. That is the frustrating (irritating) part of being a strong fan.

        1. AC

          The point still is what has Hill done, to show he is ready to start, in a major league game?

          I don’t have one favorite player, like Bum does.

          And Joc has been given more then chance, to prove himself.

          I try to look at the different players, on their own merits.

          And having Hill start two days later, is not a big thing.

          And if I thought Ryu starting against the Giants, would hurt the team, I would feel different.

          And it isn’t that I don’t like Hill.

          I supported the front office signing Hill, because of his upside, but I assumed they researched his problem, and did the other things, before they signed Hill.

          And they shouldn’t put and pull these pitchers, in, and out, of the rotation, all the time.

          But that is the only way Wood gets starts, because they don’t consider him, to be part, the of the pitching rotation.

          But if the pitchers in the rotation can’t make their starts after, a while, they should give a place in the rotation, for Wood.

          1. AC

            Both Wood and Ryu pitched well, in the series, against the Giants, in SF.

            And I think the added velocity, that Wood has, might help him pitch deeper into games, but he has to have, that chance.

  6. Very good post AC as always.

    This is the way FAZ has set us up. Lots of Starting options knowing that the 10 day DL plays into our hands.
    We have incredible depth & don’t forget we have the ammunition to relaoad at the TD if need be…

    1. I think the ammunition that FAZ has built and has at their disposal is the difference this year. Whether or not they use it might be another story.

  7. They have done this to Ryu and Maeda. I do not like the way FAZ is using the 10 day DL. In my opinion they are using the DL as a strategy. Any pitcher that relies on command cannot take 10 days off and expect to be effective the next outing. Both Ryu and Maeda rely on command. If they want to send them to AAA for a rehab start and then back up, I can live with that decision. But to let Ryu sit for 10 days and then start him is wrong. Maeda is going to have the same problem. I agree with you MJ.

    1. Idahoal

      Thanks!

      You and others, got me thinking about this ten day lay over, and the command issues, because of it, and I think you all are right.

      Just like you said, sometimes the front office, just over think things.

      Ten days off, maybe toward the end of the season, might help with certain pitchers, and help pitchers, with minor injuries, but most starting pitchers, do like to pitch on schedule, to keep their command, sharp.

      Just like hitters, need consistent at bats.

      1. Command issues?

        #1 in ERA.
        #1 in WHIP
        TOP 5 in Fewest Walks.

        Any command issues are imagined.

        1. Let’s expand on that a little; before today’s game:
          .
          #6 MLB Walks Allowed
          #5 MLB Hits Allowed
          #3 MLB HRs Allowed
          #2 MLB WHIP
          #2 MLB Earned Runs Allowed
          #2 MLB Strikeouts
          #1 MLB ERA
          #1 MLB Total Runs Allowed
          .
          And no, this is not only because of Kershaw and Jansen. And they have done this with 14 of their 36 games against two of the best offenses in MLB (Colorado and AZ). With all of the bad deals that FAZ has been criticized for with respect to the pitchers, somebody is doing something right in putting this staff together. Now if they can get some consistent offense….

    2. Let me respectfully point out a couple of things:
      1. The Dodgers do have an abundance of starting pitchers (that we know);
      2. No one outside of the Dodger’s organization is privy to the injuries, except for the following:
      —–a. By some accounts McCarthy had a shoulder separation while working out;
      —–b. Maeda has been suffering from a sore hamstring; and
      —–c. Hill has had a blister on his finger;
      3. Whether Ryu was really hurt or resting we have no clue, but if they give him a rehab start he will be out another 5 days;
      4. All of the pitchers involved in this have a history of injury or issues;
      5. The MLBPA will ABSOLUTELY not allow abuse of this rule.

      Of course, they are using it as a strategy, but what should they have done instead?
      1. Let Ryu pitch until he needs surgery again?
      2. Let Maeda’s hamstring over-heat and pop?
      3. Let McCarthy pitch with a sore left Shoulder?
      4. Let Hill pitch right handed?

      Due to having a plethora of starters, they have the luxury of being PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE with regard to injuries. If the strategy was not working, then there is something to complain about, but it is working and the Dodgers are #1 in team ERA. If they can keep that up, as far as I am concerned, they can DL a different pitcher every week.

  8. Ryu did seem to be getting better each start and then 10 days off and he had arguably his worst start. If they were so worried about maeda hamstring why did they let him pitch his longest outing of the year? McCarthy was adamant he was ready to pitch and it was his no throwing shoulder but they have the luxury in being cautious. Hill was totally legit and I for one am glad they disabled him. I think I agree with McCarthy and hill but maeda not so sure and Ryu I think should have had a rehab start but hey let’s go wood tonight.

  9. What I am trying to say is most pitchers cannot lay off for 10 days and then you expect them to be sharp. Some can. Ryu was not sharp, in my opinion. Not like the previous game he threw. I contribute that to his 10 day lay off, in my opinion. Pitchers are creatures of habit. Ask Kershaw.
    We have very good starters. I am not even questioning that statement. Hill was hurt. Now we have them all back and healthy, in my opinion. Now we have seven starters for five positions. Now they are starting to juggle the starting pitchers. This is what I think is going on. They are using the 10 day DL to do it. Having a surplus is generally good. If these pitchers are truly hurt, then I am fine with the DL. If they are not and thy have to lie about their injury, then I am not ok with what they are dong. I dam sure would not want to be Roberts, and lie about an injured or non injured player. Again, this is just my opinion.

    Have you seen the starting lineup?

  10. AC, I agree the Reds and Twins are off to surprisingly good starts and the Giants, Blue Jays and Royals to surprisingly bad ones. No sympathy for any of them and the Cubs pitching has been mediocre. With Houston I was surprised with an 8 game lead this early-no one else in the division is even at .500.

    MJ, Hill is lined up to take Maeda’s turn, not Ryu’s and I tend to agree Ryu should have had a rehab start or been held back from pitching in Coors where he has struggled. At least pull him after the first guy got on his last inning, they might have won the game. But when all 7 starters are healthy what do they do? I say 6 man and one to the bullpen rather than the 10 day DL shuffle or send one packing. The only problem is then you have a short bullpen or a short bench. There are 3 guys who could take the ball for a start or two pitching down at OKC also.

  11. Ian Happ’s 1st ML hit is a HR. Lester 5.2 IP (112 pitches). Not very deep into the game. Has not gone to the 8th this year, and to the 7th only twice. The other three starters only to the 7th once each, and none to the 8th. Maeda has gone to the 7th twice and 8th/9th once. Urias has gone to the 7th once (in only three starts). Kershaw has gone to the 7th 6 out of 8 starts, 8th twice, and ninth once. It does not appear that the Cubs are pitching deeper into games than the Dodgers. If Roberts/Honeycutt let the Dodger pitchers go 112 pitches, I would guess that there would be more starts going into the 7th/8th/9th. Both teams have excellent bullpens, so there is no reason for them to extend like the Giants have to. The Dodgers are winning; on pace for a 94/95 win season. So somebody is doing something right.

      1. MJ, we are not playing last year. We are playing this year. Different year, different results.

    1. AC

      They won it all last year, and because they played deeper into the season last year, might be a factor too.

      1. Yes the Cubs did win it last year. That was last year. It could have been because of how deep the Cubs starters went. But they had a great bullpen, so I do not believe that was a significant factor. Could it have been because of the offense? Could it have been because they had a good leadoff hitter in Dexter Fowler (who actually changed the momentum in the NLCS). Regardless of what the reason was for them winning 100+ games, they almost got beat by the Giants in the NLDS, and the Dodgers might have beat them in the NLCS if the umpires (and NY) did not blow a call at home; or if Kershaw had shown that he is the best pitcher on the planet. I am now concerned about 2017, and for right now, the Cubs pitchers are not better or pitch deeper into the games than the Dodger pitchers.

        1. AC

          I understand why you mentioned the Cubs.

          I was going by what Wood did last year, as well, as with the Cub’s, starting pitchers.

          I always noticed last year, that Wood would pitch really well, until the third time through, the order.

          And it always seemed to happen fast, with him.

          I have always liked that Wood , wanted to pitch in the rotation.

          And that was his ultimate goal every year, when the season began.

          I was only talking about last year, because we are still early, in the season.

          Wood is a different pitcher this year, because he is healthy, and has picked up more, velocity.

          I didn’t mean to upset you.

  12. 2B Taylor
    SS Seager (L)
    3B Turner
    LF Gutierrez
    CF Hernandez
    1B Bellinger (L)
    C Barnes
    RF Eibner
    P Wood P

  13. I find the Panglossian rose-colored glasses through which the Dodgers’ starting pitching are viewed here somewhat ironic in light of yesterday’s post by the host here:
    ” What we do know is this:

    Brandon McCarthy is being built up gradually after his TJ Surgery;
    Ryu is also being built up slowly after missing two years;
    Scott Kazmir is out for the foreseeable future;
    Julio Urias is having his innings limited to 180 or less, so he started late;
    Rich Hill is trying to buildup a callous on his finger to prevent blistering;
    Alex Wood has not pitched deep into games for a few years; and
    Kenta Maeda has some arms questions (not sure what they are) that causes him to have his innings watched.”

    In short, every pitcher in the rotation other than Kershaw is a giant question mark.

    We are supposed to be encouraged when things aren’t going well because we are less than 25% of the way through the season, but it never works both ways. The Dodgers’ pitching, we are told , is #1. But we are never cautioned that we are only 25% of the way through the season, something that is only important, apparently, to explain when things aren’t going well.

    So – Hill will be our #2 in October? Really? The Dodgers are currently discussing whether he will even be able to continue as a starting pitcher – they PLAN on it, but acknowledge that he simply may not be able to do the job, in which case they will try him in the ‘pen.

    So what happened last year doesn’t count for anything? All Statheads tell us that the best predictor of the future is the past. You expect that Kershaw will pitch like an ace because he has done so before. Lester, for example, has been a big time pitcher in the post-season for both the Sox and the Cubs and has pitched deep into games. Will he do it again this year? I guess no one knows for certain but the best predictor of the future is the past and so to bet against Lester is a bad idea in my view.

    Which brings us back to the Dodgers’ starters. They pitched the 3rd fewest innings in the majors last year. I guess that some people think that is a good thing. I don’t. What will the same gang of pitchers do this year?

    1. “In short, every pitcher in the rotation other than Kershaw is a giant question mark.”
      This is why we need another solid starter.

    2. “In short, every pitcher in the rotation other than Kershaw is a giant question mark.”
      .
      Okay, but so far this year they are answering those questions positively. But can’t you say that about all pitchers? Hamels went down. Price went down. MadBum went down. King Felix went down. Iwakuma (a particular favorite of the anti-FAZ group) went down. Syndergaard went down. Matt Harvey went off the deep end. Matz went down. Lester is not the Lester of last year. Arrieta is nowhere close to the pitcher he was last year. Will he continue his downward spiral? I guess that is why they play 162 games.
      .
      “We are supposed to be encouraged when things aren’t going well because we are less than 25% of the way through the season, but it never works both ways. The Dodgers’ pitching, we are told, is #1. But we are never cautioned that we are only 25% of the way through the season, something that is only important, apparently, to explain when things aren’t going well.”
      .
      No, I think those are said by those of us who are encouraged by the positive outcomes of the Dodgers. You are constantly harping on how the Dodger pitchers, especially the starters, cannot be counted on. And yet, the fact that they are #1 at this time is a so what for many of you. You like to say that prior experiences are a good predictor of the future. But you discount the most current prior experience, the current year. They are currently #1. Will they stay there? You undoubtedly do not think they will, while I don’t see why not; but then I look at the team in a positive light.
      .
      “So – Hill will be our #2 in October? Really? The Dodgers are currently discussing whether he will even be able to continue as a starting pitcher – they PLAN on it, but acknowledge that he simply may not be able to do the job, in which case they will try him in the ‘pen.”
      .
      You don’t think he will be. I do. But then again, what is the worst thing that can happen with your scenario? That Hill will be in the bullpen, and Wood will be in the rotation. You have made it abundantly clear that you do not think much of Wood, so I assume that you do not think much of that outcome.

      “So what happened last year doesn’t count for anything? All Statheads tell us that the best predictor of the future is the past.”
      .
      But your definition of past and mine are undoubtedly different. I consider the first 40 games of the current year as past. You and others want to go back to last year and tell us that the Cubs won because they pitched so deep into the game, and the Dodgers have done nothing to try to replicate that. I am not sure why we are even playing the season. Why not just put the Cubs and Indians back into the WS and let them fight it out. Or could it be that with how both teams are playing so far in 2017 that neither team can replicate what they did last year.
      .
      “Lester, for example, has been a big time pitcher in the post-season for both the Sox and the Cubs and has pitched deep into games.”
      .
      Well not so good with the 2015 Cubs, and certainly not good at all for the 2014 A’s. Lester being the “Ace” they were counting on for the playoffs. All top pitchers have positive playoff games and negative playoff games (except maybe Bumgarner).
      .
      “Which brings us back to the Dodgers’ starters. They pitched the 3rd fewest innings in the majors last year. I guess that some people think that is a good thing. I don’t. What will the same gang of pitchers do this year?”
      .
      We know you think there should only be five starters and all should be able to pitch 200-230 innings per year. I am not sure how that is working so far for the Giants, the team with the most innings pitched by the starters, but oh well, why should the statheads point to this anomaly? Even Orel Hershiser tonight said the game is changing so that starting pitchers need only go 5 innings and then turn it over to a solid bullpen. Orel may not be the most all-knowing voice in baseball, but I think he is closer to the decision makers than anyone on this site. Some choose to live in the past, while others accept (even if we do not like it) the change, and get encouraged when the front office structures a 40 man roster to meet the change head on.
      .
      Dang that not very good, certainly not top tier pitcher Alex Wood. Goes another 6 shutout innings bringing his record to 4-0 and his ERA down to 2.27. And this time it was not the Padres/Giants/Pirates. It was the Colorado Rockies, the team tied with the most wins thus far in MLB. Let’s see how this is painted. If it weren’t for Sergio Romo blowing that April 26 game against SF, Alex would be 5-0. He just isn’t very good is he?

  14. Another good start by Wood. We really have three good starters. They are Kershaw, Urias, and Wood. That leaves two spots for the other four. If they cannot do it, we have options in the minors. I am not worried about our starters.
    Another good win for the Dodgers. A shut out in Colorado. One more tomorrow and we will be in first place.

  15. Ok, probably the last post of the night, but here goes. First of all , Woods is just a frigging beast right now. And Turner is totally under appreciated defensively , the guy can flat out pick it! All you need to know about how the Rockshow is feeling this weekend in a nutshell is to watch Nolan Arenado’s reaction to Turner’s stab to rob him of a sure hit and RBI. The Rockies know the approaching Death Star of Dodger Blue is coming, and they can’t do a damn thing about it. Our depth on both the position players, the starters, and the bullpen is going to grind these guys into dust. You can already see it, and all of us know that we are far from full strength right now. I think one of the keys over the last 3 or 4 games is the Team Dad, that’s right , Utley getting hot. It kind of solidified everybody else and got the hitting parade started. The pitching right now outside of Ryu, who I think will be much better next time around, is off the hook. Split or no split, we are right where we want to be right now, with a butt load of back up in Triple A. Starting to think this is the year. All the FAZ haters might need some ketchup to eat a big time amount of crow.

  16. Wood in an understatement has been fantastic this year. He also exercised his demons in Colorado as he had not fared well there. With kershaw, wood, hill, Urias the dodgers have a solid 4 when healthy. This is something we have not had in the past 5 years. Long way to go we have to make the playoffs and we got to be healthy. If one of those falter McCarthy could be next. I also think if kazmir can get healthy he is a quality starter. Yes kazmir when right he is quality. Now we should be looking to improve our offense because in the big picture if healthy we have the horses in the starting rotation.

  17. Where is Amani Abdullah? He is not listed in top 30 prospects? It looks like Alvarez has taken a step back for some reason.

    1. Imani is listed as #15 on MLB Pipeline. He has not pitched this year. No specific reason that I can find. He has grown quite a bit, and is relatively new to pitching, so he is probably in Extended ST getting more tutelage and learning more about his growing body. Alveraz came to camp a little on the chunky side. He is now paying the price. He still throws hard and easy, but needs to get better command. He needs to learn to become a pitcher, but his ceiling is still a #1.

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