Really, it’s not gloom and doom!
Last year, when Clayton had the herniated disk, everyone wondered what the team would do. It turns out that Kershaw’s injury galvanized them and others stepped up to fill the void. Not only did they not miss a beat, but they thrived. I, for one, do not expect the same thing to happen this year, although I believe there is no reason to panic. This Dodger team has depth which give them options. Let’s look ands see who might step up into the rotation.
Brock Stewart – Brock Stewart is certainly being groomed as a starter, but in order to succeed as one on this level, he needs a better curveball. He has had great success out of the bullpen and I think the Dodgers will leave him there for a couple of reasons: (1) Boost his confidence ; and (2) he is a real asset to the team in the pen – they need him and a few others to win it all.
Wilmer Font – As AC mentioned, Font has re-established himself as a prospect with his pitching at OKC. He has a fastball that goes up to the mid-90’s, has excellent control and Knows how to pitch. In 101.1 innings at OKC he has given up 82 hits while striking out 137 and walking only 27. His ERA is 3.82 and his WHIP is 1.13. That is excellent for the PCL. He certainly could start, but I’d like to see him in the pen, but that’s just me. Font has only allowed 9 HR in the PCL!
Justin Masterson – As a former Top Prospect and MLB Pitcher, he has to get some consideration. His ERA is 3.88 and his WHIP is 1.28. He has pitched 109 innings, allowing 90 hits with 109 K’s and 50 BB. The biggest difference between him and Font is that he has allowed just 6 HR. So, there is that. I have got to believe that Masterson could start for some MLB teams. Just not the Dodgers.
Trevor Oaks – He has been injured and has regressed somewhat because of it. I think he needs to pitch some more at the AAA level, but I see him being converted to a reliever soon.
Walker Buehler – Buehler has “ACE” written all over him, but he will not start for the Dodgers this year. I doubt we see him until September unless he suddenly is “Lights out” at AAA and there are more injuries. Next year, he’s in the rotation.
Ross Stripling – I think Ross is a huge asset to the bullpen, even though he has had a few hiccups. His ERA of 3.55 is not what I would like it to be, but a few bad pitches have cost him this year. The thing is: Ross sees himself as a starter, not a reliever, so much so that I think it messes with his head. If I were the Dodgers, I would install Ross into the rotation – it’s likely he can go 4 or 5 innings in his first start or at least get there by his second. Thirteen times this year, he has pitched two or more innings. Ross is my pick to take Clayton’s spot – primarily because he wants it so bad!
So, Stripling is my choice with Font a close second to go into the rotation. Here’s what it looks like:
That will strike fear into hitters, won’t it? Next man up – that’s all you can say! I do not really believe the Dodgers are in on Yu Darvish, no matter what the media says… unless Texas will give him away. I think FAZ is just keeping everyone honest and the price up. Texas is going to want 3 top prospects for him and I say no… unless Clayton is going to be out an extended period. It seems like a 10-day DL trip to me and may be a blessing in disguise. Roberts said there was no shooting pain down his leg, so that bodes well.
Chris Taylor gets all the ink with his .312 BA and .382 OB%, but Logan Forsythe is right behind him with a .368 OB%. No one works the pitchers better than Logan and he is wizard at 2B as we saw yesterday.
Austin Barnes is bad man! This team is deep. Watch and see how they overcome the loss of CK.