I’ll get right to the point: You always worry about pitching! So, there is that.
However, I do not think we should be overly concerned about pitching on this 2018 version of the Dodgers. A number of Dodger Fans are questioning the Dodgers rotation as well as the Dodger bullpen. Some say that the Dodgers only have one pitcher who can start and go more than four or five innings. I would suggest that statement is misleading. I think the Dodgers BY CHOICE, do not allow their pitchers to go more than 4 or 5 innings… except for Clayton. Actually, Alex Wood had 16 starts where he went 6 or more innings and Rich Hill was deliberately held back over blister concerns. Ryu was on his first full season back from surgery and Maeda did have issues as a starter.
Ryu’s performance on Saturday did not inspire confidence, but I don’t think it was as bad as some might think. According to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, here’s what Doc said about the outing:
“Where he’s at this year in Spring Training, where he was at the last couple of years, considerably ahead of it. A lot of good things today.”
Ryu sat in the 89-92 mph on Saturday and hit 93 in his last start, which was well above where he was at last spring training. Everyone thinks Ryu’s arm is stronger this year than last… we shall see, but there is hope.
The reason that I don’t think it is necessary to overly worry is because of (drumroll…..) DEPTH! If Ryu or another starter goes down, the Dodgers have options. The first option is Ross Stripling… which is why he is being stretched out. The second option is Striker Buehler who is ready for the show. The third option is likely Julio Urias who MIGHT be available after the All-Star Break.
Then, it gets dicey, but there is no need to panic because of DEPTH. They Dodgers can make a trade for a starter IF NECESSARY… but it may not be necessary, so why do it? Of course, they could always wait until after the draft this year and then give Alex Cobb a $48 million 4 year deal, which is better than he’s going to get anywhere else. If the Dodgers are considering (1) cutting salary so that they might be able to add another starter; and (2) moving Yasmani Grandal in his walk year, then right about now (due to how well he is hitting) might be a good time to try… I’m just sayin’….
When Tom Koehler went down, the bullpen changed somewhat. I think some thought he would be the 8th inning guy, but that was yet to be determined. However, it is looking more and more like he may be back sooner than later. No one has a clue when that will be.
There are a bunch of others fighting for spots in the pen- we all know their names, but if enough of them don’t cut it, it’s time to use the “DEPTH” Card… and FAZ will if it is necessary. That’s why I am not overly worried. Let’s see what happens…
- Here’s something that I thought was interesting as reported by Ken Gurnick: “Kershaw chose to pitch at home, even though it means facing a division rival. There’s a chance he will face buddy and former teammate A.J. Ellis, who is fighting for a Padres roster spot. Ellis joked he’s been working with Yasiel Puig on bat flips for when he takes Kershaw deep. Kershaw responded by suggesting Ellis make the team before he talks smack.” OUCH! Clayton, that’s your old buddy!