It is both a failure and triumph that the LAD have 3 rookies pitching the next three games
Is it a failure of the LAD front office that the Dodgers have to use a nineteen-year-old, and a pitcher who started out in A ball to start games back to back in June?
Is it a triumph of the LAD front office that they have the best pitching prospect in all of baseball, along with the fastest-rising pitching prospect in all of baseball starting games back to back in June?
Has to be a bit of both. Even though the front office did the work required to have depth before the season started, that depth dissipated so fast that they have been forced to use pitchers no one ever expected to see the LAD mound in the early going of 2016.
- They knew Ryu was a risk, they just didn’t expect he’d be out until July.
- They knew Brett Anderson was a risk, they just didn’t expect him to blow out his back so quickly.
- They knew McCarthy would not be able to help until July.
- They were counting on Montas, what they got was rib surgery
Even with all that they headed into the season with Kershaw/Maeda/Kazmir/Wood, needing to fill one spot with a plethora of options.
- They hoped Beachy had something left – he didn’t.
- They hoped Bolsinger could help out – he eventually did, but not well, and not in April.
- They thought Frias might help in an emergency – he couldn’t.
Eventually, they turned to Ross Stripling who was no one’s choice to be in the rotation in April, and Ross did more than what was expected. He was adequate. But that didn’t last long. Alex Wood got hurt, Ross hit his inning pitch limit, and the team was forced to try options.
The first cavalry charge hit some bumps:
- Montas looked just about ready to get a shot at the rotation when he suffered yet another rib injury and is probably out for most of the year.
- Ryu has been shut down several times, but finally looks to be on track to join the rotation after the all-star game.
- McCarthy might be ready right about the same time as Ryu
Because of that, the team had to turn to someone like Tepesch who predictably made one start and is now off the roster.
Which left them with what to do about this Wednesdays’ game. The first cavalry had no answer yet, they could have done something to get Frias back up (would require a DL move) but decided to instead go with the hottest pitcher in the organization. Brock Stewart. This might be desperation, but it is cool desperation because Brock Stewart is a cool baseball story.
Even as the team needs to replace Urias, they should get that replacement from Ryu or McCarthy. How Brock Stewart does on Tuesday night could decide his major league future.
Even though the first cavalry charge took some bumps eventually Ryu/McCarthy should be able to join the rotation, and once they do that the second cavalry will be starting their rehabbing.
- Alex Wood will start to gear up
- Brett Anderson should be standing up soon
- Jose DeLeon whose minor league pedigree far outshone Brock Stewart before the season started should be well on his way to being stretched out.
It may look like failure right now, but when the options are Urias and Stewart, and the future has arms like Ryu/McCarthy/Wood/Anderson/Deleon I can’t help but think that overall this front office has to feel good about the second half of the year.
Good enough that they don’t trigger a trade for a bonafide number two starter? That is another question, because while the Dodgers may eventually fill the rotation, they might want a bit more upside for 2016.