Do the Dodgers have a pitching problem?
The Houston Astros currently have four of their five starters on the disabled list. Their projected rotation the next five games reads like this.
Fiers, Paulino, Musgrove, Peacock, Martes
That from the team with the best record in baseball. Their best pitcher Keuchel will be back shortly but the Lance McCullers won’t be. Colin McHugh out until July. Charlie Morton late June. Musgrove is in the rotation but just came off the DL last week. It is pretty iffy right now in Houston. Not that they have to worry about their division which is a hot mess after Houston.
The Boston Red Sox just got David Price back but they didn’t get back the good one. The Red Sox went about nine deep this year in the rotation. Four of the nine are on the disabled list. Last year’s Cy Young Award winner is pitching like he’s headed for the DL. Chris Sale has lived up to his billing and price. Drew Promeranz cost the Red Sox a princely sum and is not returning dividends. They had to give Kyle Kendrick two starts and that is never a good idea.
The Washington Nationals have Max Scherzer and Steven Strasburg. They have the two aforementioned pitchers with a FIP below 4.00. They have thrown away three starts to Jacob Turner and Jeremy Guthrie. They traded their best pitching prospects so they don’t have alot to turn too.
Should I even mention who is in the Twin rotation after Santana and Berrios?
The first place Brewers have thrown away starts to the likes of Tommy Milone, Pablo Espino, and Brent Suter. Along with letting Wily Peralta blow up until removed to middle relief. They finally have some health with Davies/Guerra back. Nelson has been good and might continue to be good. Chase Anderson? Probably not. Matt Garza definitely not. That is their top five. No depth, no one to turn to when at least two of those five hit the skids.
How about the World Champion Cubs. They have Lester and he has not exactly been a world beater this year. His ERA is just 3.89 and the FIP says he could have some improvement. Arrieta is a long way past his the days he was compared to Kershaw. John Lackey really might be done. Hendricks is hurt and wasn’t impressive before he got hurt. The Brett Anderson experiment went exactly as expected leaving Mike Montgomery to take his spot. Montgomery did great work in relief but has made only two starts and it is still up in the air if Monty came handle the work of a rotation piece. Rockie reclamation project Eddie Butler is now the number five. They have nothing after him.
The Rockies are using four rookies in their rotation right now. That will change when Jon Gray comes back. Basically, they have already dipped as far as they can dip into their depth. They have done great things, and if they continue to keep the team afloat you can only tip your hat, but anyone who would take the Rockie starting pitching situation over the Dodgers is drinking purple lemonade.
The Diamondbacks have been resilient. They lost Shelby Miller for the year. That might have been a good thing. Robbie Ray has blossomed into a stud and it just might hold. Greinke has bounced back enough to be called a team ace. Taijuan Walker just came back off the DL to give them a solid three. Patrick Corbin is not doing the job to help round out the rotation. Zach Godly and Randall Delgado pitched well. I”m not much of a believer in Godly but time will tell. What they do have is three good to great pitchers fronting the rotation which no one else can say at this time except the Dodgers.
So, do the Dodgers have a rotation problem? Maybe?
They have Kershaw, still the best pitcher in the league.
They have Alex Wood who is just as suspect at Robby Ray at holding these gains, but for now, he’s a solid number two.
Brandon McCarthy has been as solid as anyone could have hoped for.
That is the Dodgers big three and it is as good as any big three in baseball with postseason aspirations.
Kenta Maeda was supposed to be a key part of the first five. He’s been so inconsistent he was the last pitcher to get sent to the bullpen but wouldn’t you bet on him figuring it out to at least get back to a consistent 15 – 17 out pitcher that doesn’t kill you?
That leaves Ryu and Hill fighting for the five spot. I don’t know what to make of either of them. I think either should be good enough to get the ball every five days.
That is the current status.
Back on the farm, the team took a big hit when Urias went on the DL. Not a structural issue but no timetable for return. I think we have to write him off for this year until we see how he bounces back from this.
Brock Stewart is back and just about ready to answer the call if his phone rings.
Scott Kazmir is about ready for some rehab games. Many seem to have written off Scott Kazmir but I don’t know why. He’s taken a lot of time to get healthy, and a fresh, healthy Scott Kazmir could be an important part of the 2017 team going forward.
I am going to mention Wilmer Font because over the last six weeks he’s been the best pitcher in minor league baseball even if he is a 27-year-old minor league journeyman.
I am going to mention Justin Masterson because he was signed for depth, and he remains for depth.
I am going to mention Trevor Oaks. Because is still a part of the Dodger depth.
Could the Dodgers use another pitcher? I think we have to see what Kenta/Ryu/Hill do over the next month. CanKazmir can show something in his rehab starts? I still think all three can at least be part of a rotation even if they aren’t going to be the best they once had to offer.
And I think Brock Stewart could do what any Rockie rookie is doing.
Check back in a month.
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