Getting Ready for the Stretch Run – A Look at the Pitching

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that the Dodgers will be in the playoffs.  The Dodgers are now 9.5 games ahead of the D-Bags and 11.5 games ahead of the Rookies.  Neither team has the depth to come back.  However, right about now we should ask the question as to “Which players will play a role in that stretch run“?  If you look at the pitchers, it’s pretty clear that Romo, Hatcher and Avilan will not be on the playoff roster.   Barring trade, I see the Rotation being:

  1. Clayton Kershaw
  2. Alex Wood
  3. Rich Hill
  4. Brandon McCarthy
  5. Kenta Maeda

The Injury Factor

What we know:  We  know that Andrew Toles, Yimi Garcia and Julio Urias will not be back this year.  We know that Hyun-Jin Ryu will be back soon, and barring trade, I think the odds are that he comes back in the pen.

What we don’t know: We don’t know if Adrian Gonzalez or Andre Ethier will be back.   However, Ethier and Gonzalez are really not doing baseball activities, so that leads me to believe that it would be in September, if ever.  Scott Kazmir is rehabilitating but his velocity is off  5 or 6 MPH and I don’t think that will allow him to pitch to major league hitters.

We also don’t know if Franklin  Gutierrez will be back because of the progression of his ankylosing spondylosis.  I’m of the opinion that he is through… sadly.  He could helped the Dodgers greatly against LH pitching, but with the development of Chris Taylor and Kike’s damage inflicted against LH pitching, it’s no longer a big need.  This is an example of how FAZ relied on depth – someone of the bunch steps up.

We haven’t heard much about Rob Segedin and I would doubt he would be a factor this season and we have no idea of an timeline for the return of Adam Liberatore.   So, insofar as the bullpen goes, this is what the Dodgers have… for sure:

  1. Brock Stewart
  2. Pedro Baez
  3. Brandon Morrow
  4. Josh Fields
  5. Grant Dayton
  6. Ross Stripling

Lefties are hitting .135 against Dayton so he has been solid there.  Lefties are hitting .359 against Ryu, so I really can’t say he should be there.  Brandon Morrow is tough against LH pitching – he hasn’t given up a hit to a LH yet!  Josh Fields has allowed LH hitters a .174 BA and Pedro Baez is allowing a .224 BA to lefthanders.  Right now, no one, RH or LH is hitting Brock Stewart and Ross Stripling is holding LH pitching to a .239 BA.

The Dodgers are not horrible against lefthanders, but they do need at least one really solid LH relief pitchers like Justin Wilson or Zach Britton or someone close in order to dominate the playoffs.  I really don’t think they need to add another bat, but I would like to see them add two arms – a RH and a LH.   That righthander could be Walker Buehler would could be a light-out setup guy for and inning or two.  I have no idea if the brass would worry that might stunt his development or cause an arm problem, but they are not letting him pitch deep into games anyway.  Last night, he dominated two innings and got into trouble in the third before being lifted.

Get Dave Roberts Walker Buehler and a lockdown lefty and Doc will get you a Championship.

Today’s Lineup:

  1. Forsythe  2B
  2. Seager  SS
  3. Turner  3B’
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Taylor  LF
  6. Barnes C
  7. Hernandez  RF
  8. Thompson CF
  9. Hill P

Get out the brooms!  Hill’s curve should break about 67 feet in the Florida humidity!

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 58 Comments

  1. ” Brandon Morrow is tough against LH pitching” … “and Ross Stripling is holding LH pitching”

    not to quibble with your conclusions which are spot on, but my inner, OCD copy editor suspects — pitching=hitters

    I think it will be unlikely we seen Either or Gutierrez. Suspect A-gon my be back in a limited roll in September and on the playoff roster only out of respect. Not sure who he replaces though — Thompson?

  2. I don’t think Roberts is comfortable with playing Kike’ at 3rd base and given the apparent need to give Turner off days, Forsythe probably won’t be traded. Can Utley can play 3rd base?
    Martinez would be a good addition for LF but Taylor got us here and he has therefore earned the LF job.
    I think Stewart will be in the rotation no later than mid-August.
    I think Buehler will be a September call up and make the playoff team as a reliever.
    I think the Dodgers have a better chance of trading for Betances than Britten. Yankees could use McCarthy, Stripling, and Forsythe so some combination of players could move Betances to LA.

    1. But Britton’s value could be lower than it really is due to injury. On Betances, you are paying 100 cents on the dollar.

  3. On paper, the pitching match up today is lopsided in the Dodgers favor. The team is playing excellent lately against LH starters, partly due to Forsythe and Barnes producing and also Kike and Thompson. JT’s splits are better this year too, Taylor is no slouch and Cody and Cory hold their own.

    No Stewart just yet in the rotation, they have 6 for 5 spots already. Kershaw goes Tues against the Chisox then Maeda or McCarthy? (Short 2 game series) Brandon would be on normal rest and Maeda pitches better at home. Ryu was sharp in a 4 inning 58 pitch sim game so where does he slot in to come off the DL? Like Mark said, barring a trade Ryu slots into the bullpen or we would have a 6 man rotation. 2 problems: Kershaw is pushing for 20 wins and a Cy Young and will want his regular turns. Wood can win the ERA title and is 11 and 0 but does not yet qualify for league leaders due to IP. With regular turns and 6 innings per start he will barely make it.

  4. Scott Andes, you need to go back to your own site. People on this site may disagree but do it with class. This site is for FAZ ass kissers as you so eloquently called us who supported FAZ. I see nothing wrong with Bum’s post.

    1. Idahoal

      I never called anyone “FAZ ass kissers” as you say. I’m not talking about his post today, I’m talking about his little insult towards me on last night’s post. Here let me find it for you…

      Mark Timmons says:
      July 15, 2017 at 11:56 pm
      Alex Wood: 11-0 – 1.56 ERA/$2.8 Million

      Zack Greinke: 11-4 – 2.86 ERA/$34 Million + $34 Million + $35 Million + $35 Million

      Is there anyone with 2 brains cells who still thinks the Dodgers should have resigned Greinke?
      Bumsrap says:
      July 16, 2017 at 9:17 am
      Scott? Oh wait, you qualified your question.

      Let that cranky old man defend himself. You certainly don’t need to be coming to his rescue. No offense to you.

      1. Scott, you have to admit you overly sulked over the Dodgers not signing Greinke. That was just a light jab and meant to be humorous more than mean.

  5. Scott, you are not telling the truth. You or Oscar and if I remember correctly it was you who called those who supported FAZ ass kissers. I got very upset and said so. If it was Oscar, then I apologize to you.

  6. This is a kinder, gentler site where we always consider the other person first and never have a harsh word for anyone… and if you don’t adhere to those rules, I’ll beat the hell out of you!

          1. We can fix that….

            I used to have that problem and they said I needed a frontal lobotomy, but I misunderstood and thought they said a “bottle in front of me.”

  7. Trade for mccutcheon and Watson give the pirates vanslyke lol! If that won’t work add Calhoun, Forsyth, and oaks.

  8. As Bobbie 17 mentioned, Willie Calhoun started his 10th game in LF. He has averaged a put out a game so, it’s hard to know how he is doing. What we do know is that he hits LH pitching as good as RH pitching and is OPS’ing .943 with 19 HR, 23 doubles and 5 triples while batting .310. I don’t think there’s much more he can show with his bat. Maybe he gets the call-up over Verdugo?

  9. Can someone confirm that Walker Buehler just got promoted to AAA?

    I’m assuming it’s to convert him to relief for a little bit and then get him up here

  10. The competition (Cubs and Nationals) are “Getting Ready for the Stretch Run”.
    The nice thing about playing .685 ball is that you can afford to be patient.
    Dodger and Lakers have some common management (Magic Johnson). I double as a part-time Lakers internet GM. Lots of people were criticizing the Lakers for striking out on free-agents early on. But their patience paid off with the acquisition of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, very good back-court running mate for Lonzo Ball. Lots of sellers this year in MLB, lots of things are going to happen in the next couple weeks. Will there be a big time bargain? Stay tuned!
    This just popped up at MLB rumors:

    1. I like what the Lakers have done, bringing in a couple vets like KCP and Lopez who is a local product and had a great draft and are the surprise team of the Vegas Summer League, selling out Thomas and Mack which seats 18,500 for basketball full of cheering Laker fans. I’m not saying playoffs this year but there will be no tanking!

      I like what the Dodgers have just done, completing a sweep and extending their win streak to 9. Hill ran up his pitch count but left with 10 K’s and 1 ER in 5 IP. Dodgers left the bases loaded twice, one time Cory taking the bat out of Cody’s hands getting picked off 2B, and the other time Joc K’d and Utley PH and flied to RF.

      Meanwhile the Snakes just got swept by the Braves and the Rocks lost 2 of 3 to the Mets. It’s now 10.5 and 11.5 back for them and the Cubs are closer to the Brewers than the final wild card. The Nats pick up a couple RP’s which they sorely needed but it won’t get them past the Dodgers in the Playoffs.

          1. Westbrook went to UCLA and would probably like to return home. PG is 6’9″ and can slide to the 3 (he’s a good 2 also) with Ball at the point and WBrook at the 2 (he’s a good 1 also), pick your poison!Young guys like Ingraham, Clarkson, Randle, Nance plus the other draft choices Kuzma, Hart and Bryant have the future looking bright. They have the cap space to do 2 max contracts next off season, that would be a dream team.

          2. Whew, Nobody was going to mention Paul George. We all thought it would be too painful for you. Glad the therapy is going well!

          3. Westbrook bought a few Truck Dealerships in Socal
            last year. I was told he said that he was going to be playing for the Lakers soon

      1. Vegas

        I hate to get away from what got us here, but I don’t think we can rely on just HRs, in the post season.

        I think the team needs to try to do better, in getting runners over, and hitting runners in, when they are in scoring position.

        Also our starting pitchers other then Kershaw, need to learn how to get their bunts down better.

  11. We need to be better at advancing the runner. ig– runner on second with no outs–put it in play to the right side and get him over to third. Or runner on third with no or one out–put it in play and get that run in. Seems like we are going for the big inning all the time (granted it has worked well to this point) instead of advancing our runners..

  12. MJ
    I agree with you. The Dodgers do not do the little things that help to win games. In fact the announcers said we were last in that category. Doc needs to emphasize that in the next three months. We need to move a runner on second to third. We need sac flys when they are needed. When a runner leads off with a double, a ground ball to the right and a sac fly will get us a run.

  13. I think one of the strengths the Dodgers have that may be overlooked are the Quality of the “at bats”.
    It seems like opposing pitchers typically get into high pitch counts early.
    I guess we have to play against a good pitcher to see if that is just lousy pitching or disciplined batting

    1. Ray Charles I didn’t know you were able to see that we need to see a top notch pitcher to see if our hitters are more discipline. Just little humor to the site.

  14. I also see that we should bring up anyone who is suspected of being that type of relief pitcher soon. Let the post season auditions begin,
    we’re far enough ahead.

    1. I think we have one in Stewart and Buehler may be here soon. Stripling ain’t a chump!

      Can Ray Charles see that?

      1. Yes boss, I can. I guess everyone feels that we have a surplus of talent in the minor leagues. I have always been against trading young players and it seems like other teams might make us overpay thereby nullifing the possibility of a trade. No one wants to be added to FAZ’s fleeced list

  15. Ray
    Seattle may never want to trade with FAZ again. Taylor was a pretty good pick up. We did not trade with NY to get JT, but they gave up on him. JT just looks like an animal when he bats. He is also pretty good defensively.

  16. JT will officially be on top of the league in batting average at the end of the White Sox series if he has 8 plate appearance. He will be there at the end of Tuesday’s game if he has 5 on Tuesday.

  17. 9 In a row, and headed to Chicago. Other teams are scrambling to get better and we are just reloading our howitzers. I LOVE MY DODGERS. MARK you are my MVP. You are second to none. God Bless!!!

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