All the young dudes
The 2020 Zips projections are out and as suspected the Dodgers have a bevy of talent fighting for five rotation spots. With Ryu gone the rotation isn’t ideal but it is basically the same type of rotation that they have taken into every season since Friedman became President with the difference this year is that three of the four pitchers vying for the final two rotation spots are young starters instead of the usual one or none.
It took a long time for the one-time teenage phenom Urias to finally claim a full-time rotation piece, but his time his now, and it is very possible that by the end of the year, Urias will be the best lefthander in the Dodger rotation. The Dodgers have been tied to the Indians and Mike Clevinger, but they could have their own Mike Clevinger in Dustin May. I wouldn’t be averse to trading the future of May for the now of Clevinger, but I also wouldn’t mind simply seeing what Dustin May can do as a Dodger. Ross Stripling will pitch well when asked to start. He always does, I don’t expect that to change. I don’t know what to make of Tony Gonsolin.
Sure, the Dodgers could use another rotation piece, and I expect with almost 100% certainty that another name will get added to the group vying for the final two spots, but it probably won’t be a name that gets Dodger fans excited. It might simply be Rich Hill, or it might be Rich Hill and another reclamation project. Or, somehow Clevinger is wearing Dodger Blue but that will probably happen this summer instead of this winter.
If we take a look at the 2018 projections we can see the Dodger projected rotation was going to be Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Rich Hill with Trevor Oaks, Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Wilmer Font, Ross Stripling, and Brock Stewart pulling in starts. You could understand the confusion over what Ryu would do after missing all of 2016. Ryu didn’t pitch a lot in 2018 but when he pitched, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Ross Stripling was an all-star in 2018, but according to Zips was going to be the worse possible option in 2018. Walker Buehler became the everyday ace of the Dodgers.
The 2018 Dodger team went to the World Series and lost game 7 against a team that cheated and the rotation on Dec, 29th, 2017 was supposed to be Kershaw / Hill / Maeda / Wood with eventual help from Buehler. Ross Stripling was an afterthought just as he seems to be in 2020. How different is that from the projected 2020 rotation right now?
Also, notice the big whiffs on Trevor Oaks and Wilmer Font. Both were traded away before making any starts for the Dodgers, and both didn’t come close to being effective in 2018.
| 2018 Zips Projections sorted by ERA- |
|Player||IP||ERA||FIP||ERA-||2018 IP||2018 ERA-|
|Wilmer Font||126.3||3.92||3.93||95||No LAD Starts||No LAD Starts|
|Trevor Oaks||141||4.09||4.16||99||No LAD Starts||No LAD Starts|
The Zips 2020 projections for the Dodger rotation are actually optimistic. Every pitcher expected to be part of the rotation is expected to be above average except for Tony Gonsolin.
For what it is worth this is what I think. The Dodgers have plenty of arms for 2020, they have plenty of arms to make a trade now, or during the summer but I’d much rather watch one of Urias/May turn into the next Dodger paragraph or at least a “Moment in the Sun” in the updated version of Jon Weisman’s Brother in Arms. If I’m a betting man, I’d be betting on Julio Urias to be that pitcher.
One final note. Josiah Gray is going to eat these projections.
- Posted in: 2020 Dodgers ♦ Uncategorized
- Tagged: Alex Wood, Clayton Kershaw, Dennis Santana, Dustin May, Edwin Uceta, Fangraphs, Hyun-jin Ryu, Jon Weisman, Josiah Gray, Julio Urias, Kenta Maeda, Leo Crawford, Mitch White, Rich Hill, Ross Stripling, Tony Gonsolin, Trevor Oaks, Walker Buehler, Wilmer Font