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Home > Spring Training > Dodgers Remade Rotation Comes with Some Hits, Misses, and Maybe an Incomplete Grade

Dodgers Remade Rotation Comes with Some Hits, Misses, and Maybe an Incomplete Grade

Alex Wood

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With the start of the 2016 MLB season around the corner, teams are trying to figure out which starting rotation and lineup will give them the best chance to win during the season. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have won the NL West the last three years, are one of the teams still trying to figure out the best rotation to use. Even though the Dodgers lost one of their best pitchers during the offseason, they still have the best online MLB sports betting odds of winning the NL West.

So far, the Dodgers haven’t settled on the rotation they will use this season. Clayton Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner will remain the team’s Ace, but after Kershaw, it is anyone’s guess. For the past few seasons, Zack Greinke was the number two pitcher in the Dodgers rotation. Greinke left the Dodgers to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks, leaving the number two spot in Los Angeles open.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu was projected to be the number four pitcher in the Dodgers rotation, but he is still recovering from shoulder surgery from last season and isn’t expected back in the rotation until May.

With Ryu still on the mend, it seems like Alex Wood will be given an opportunity to earn a spot in the team’s rotation. The Dodgers gave Wood a spring training start on Monday, but he allowed two homeruns in the first inning against the Indians. Wood will have to pitch better if he wants to earn a spot in the team’s rotation.

Wood is currently projected to get the 4th spot in the rotation as long as he doesn’t implode during spring training and doesn’t get outperformed by other pitchers before the season starts.

So far, Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, and Kenta Maeda have looked impressive during spring training and are a lock for three of the five spots in the rotation. If Wood earns the fourth spot, it would mean that Zach Lee and Jose De Leon who have both also impressed during spring training, will be competing for the fifth and final spot in the rotation.

Dave Roberts, who is going into his first season as the manager of the Dodgers, said he was pleased with his team’s pitching depth. He said that fans shouldn’t read much into the spring training performances of players like Wood and Kazmir because spring training just started and he doesn’t expect everyone to be very sharp or have great command of their pitches at this point.

Mike Bolsinger and Brandon Beachy are both behind Wood and Kazmir in the pitching rotation right now, but that could change soon because both pitchers have pitched two scoreless innings respectively and have looked sharper than Wood so far. If they continue playing well in spring training, they could be able to earn a spot in the rotation.

Wood, who is working on some changes to his mechanics, said it felt good to be out on the mound after suffering from a foot issue that caused problems for him at the end of last season. Wood acknowledged that he has seen some improvement, but also vowed not to take things for granted if he earns a spot in the rotation.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

46 thoughts on “Dodgers Remade Rotation Comes with Some Hits, Misses, and Maybe an Incomplete Grade

  1. I think Bolsinger proved, at least in the short term or through the first half of last season, he’s a capable 5th starter. I know AC is fond of him, and I want him to get back to his Braves era performance, but Wood has a little still to prove.

    AC made a good point once, too, about the Dodgers stacking their team with cheaper signings and how this effectively blocks deserving prospects from coming up through the system. There is prospect depth, but it languishes in the minor leagues. Anderson’s injury now opens up the possibility of De Leon or maybe Cotton earning a shot at the fifth spot. I know folks are pulling for Lee, but Jharel is a possibility, too. I wouldn’t be averse to that, at least until Ryu comes back. You could argue that De Leon needs some seasoning in OKA before he gets a call up, but he’s close to ready. I think he needs to work on command a little. Cotton needs to work on being consistent with his curveball, so says Dustin Nosler, but his change might be equal to De Leon’s.

  2. If you have Kershaw and then “it’s anyone’s guess”,…that can’t be good 🙁
    But it’s a long way to the finish line.
    On line sports betting???? Never tried it.

  3. On line betting? No thank you.
    As for the rotation, the over-under on the number of starters will be around a dozen. I think more will be brought in as the year progresses. We know Kershaw is #1, but I don’t know how it falls after that. Kazmir is #2 only because somebody has to be, but Maeda could easily be our second best starting pitcher. And so could somebody else. Doesn’t matter to me. Throw bodies out there then try to score 7 and we should be ok.

    1. Badger I agree that Kazmir is only the number two, because there are to many questions about Ryu, and his health. I do think that Kazmir will be a better pitcher, in the National league, and pitching in Dodger stadium. Most pitchers, that come from the American League, to the National league, usually do much better in the National league. And I think Kazmir’s decline in the second half, might have to do with where he was pitching in the second half, because Oakland is a much bigger place to pitch in, then in Houston. And I do think that Madea, will pitch well enough, that by the begining of the break, he will be considered the Dodger’s number two, in the rotation. And by then, the rotation will be better set, and the Dodgers should know, just what they have. It is hard to call the starting number four, and five places in the rotation, for the start of the season. I guess Wood would be the number four, if he doesn’t get any worse, but he didn’t convince me, in his last appearance, and in that appearance, he is didn’t look like, even a number five. I think Bolsinger will be in the starting rotation, because I don’t see them, really giving the kids a chance. I think the kids will all start in AAA. They didn’t bring Seager up last year, and Rollins was really scuffling, so I don’t see them starting any of the kids, on the big team. Bolsinger actually pitched better last year, then anyone else that filled in, so I think they will go with him. And I think he will pitch better this year, if he is handled properly. And if Wood or Bolsinger, can’t pitch well enough, they will bring someone else, in to pitch, and hopefully Ryu, will be able to pitch, and take Wood’s or Bolsinger’s place in the rotation.

      1. “I guess Wood would be the number four, if he doesn’t get any worse”.
        That is a ringing endorsement!
        Tons of questions/opportunities with this rotation. In modern baseball that is probably a good, but I prefer a set rotation. Just me

          1. No I haven’t seen him pitch. I was just looking at your statement. It’s an indication (an accurate one btw) of the current state of this staff.
            We are all saying the same thing in different ways. Let’s give everyone a chance because after Kershaw it’s wide open.
            Is that good? I don’t think so. But maybe it is.

      2. MJ, in golf vernacular I guess you could call Alex is a 4 wood. Right now he looks like a 5 wood though.

  4. Roberts says there will not be any one person designated as the lead off hitter. Match ups will determine who leads off. Why not set the rotation based on match ups as well. There are only a few times that the rotation can be reset during the season but why not start out with one that looks at giving the Dodgers the best odds of winning as many match ups as possible.
    Kershaw would always be matched against another team’s ace. But if the Dodgers don’t match well with more than 50% of teams with their #2 pitcher, why not put the #5 pitcher in the #2 spot in the rotation and try to have better match ups with #3, #4, and #5?
    That concept might have the rotation to start the season set as:
    1 Kershaw,
    2 Lee/Bolsinger,
    3 Maeda,
    4 Kazmir,
    5 Wood/Beachy

    1. I see one guy there I trust to give 30 starts. There very well could be more… I wonder what the on-line betting odds of that are?

    2. Bum, I’m certain you are aware that teams have different days off, travel schedules and things like rain outs or any disruptions doesn’t allow match ups to remain continuous through 162 games. Oh, double headers also. Also the creatures of habit thing with pitches plays in as well, so the double headers likely have some negative effect to some too. The task you’re suggesting wouldn’t have a simple answer.

      1. And yet it seems like Kershaw usually goes against the other team’s ace and that means that it would follow that the following games would pit #2 against #2.
        I wonder what the percent of time Kershaw actually does against the opposing team’s ace.

        1. To me it seems that Greinke faced Bumgarner more often than Kershaw did last season. But I wouldn’t bet either way.

          1. Quas, Kershaw and Bumgarner faced each other 4 times in 2015. MadBum was winning pitcher in 2 of those games and Kershaw was winning pitcher in 1. No decision by either pitcher in the April 22 game. Kershaw beat Leake to even his record against SF at 2-2. MadBum lost the one time he pitched against Greinke to give him a 2-2 record against LA. Greinke started twice against the Giants. He had one win and one non-decision.

    1. Too simple, I found who’s vs whose required more thought at an earlier time. The rule….who’s=who is.

  5. Bolsinger could make a good 5th starter….as long as the Dodgers have good 4th, 5th, 6th inning guys out of the BP. No one mentions the younger Anderson. He will make an impact this season in one role or an other.

  6. They have plenty of guys in the BP who could go 5-6 innings, Frias, Anderson, and Lee just to name a few.

  7. ST has just started and the LAD eads the MLB in ERA.

    I like the ratio of 2B to HRs = 11 to 5. Better for long term winning prospects and the post season.

    45th in BA and 21st in Runs Scored. Little change so far from last year. Time for the coaches to do their job.

  8. Good or bad, what happens early in Spring Training is meaningless, because you don’t know what is going on. To say that a player looks bad after one or five at bats or one or two innings pitched is silly. We have no clue what is going on – maybe a pitcher is working on a certain pitch or aspect of his delivery. For instance, Zach Lee looked pretty good, while Alex Wood looked pretty bad. It means nothing right now. We have no clue what a players agenda is right now.

    1. Consistent logic would say the home run means he should hit cleanup in LA if his strikeouts say he should start the season in OK.

  9. I’m sure I’ve seen Jack Murphy somewhere before?
    Was he in Debbie Does Dallas?
    Dude looks like a 70s Porn Star.

  10. Just an observation:

    After 6 games, I feel a different persona for this team. The attitude is different. They seem less “stiff” and more vital. At least that is what I see!

    Never underestimate the power of the force.

  11. Strange game, but entertaining. 36 hits and 26 runs. Clearly pitching has a way to go – for everybody. Look at the scores today.
    I’m sure there is a different climate with new coaching, but I didn’t see a lot of horsing around or laughing going on down there. All business.
    Maybe whatever it is Joc is working on will begin to pay off for him. Hope so.

    1. Pederson showed real signs of life Wednesday, slugging his first home run of the spring, adding a single and scoring twice.
      “I’ve talked to people and I’ve talked to Joc, and in the second half last year, there was a lot of noise, exterior things, and the game sped up,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Now we’re trying to give him clarity. The last couple of times he seems much more comfortable.”
      Pederson came into the game with five strikeouts in seven at-bats.
      “Everyone was talking to him last year,” said Roberts. “Now with [batting coaches] Turner [Ward] and Tim [Hyers], we’re on the same page. We’re on the right track with Joc.”
      All of the above By Alden Gonzalez and Ken Gurnick /
      I said this all last year that Joc would benefit from technology from
      It is headquartered in Scottsdale AZ and spring training would be the perfect time or FAZ or Roberts or Gabe Kapler to check it out.

  12. Well that turned out ugly. There will always be a handful of games that will unravel like this during the regular season. Kazmir has not looked good, but neither has Cueto or Peavy, and MadBum has looked rather pedestrian. I have no reason to believe that any of the three Giant pitchers will continue to pitch poorly. Hopefully Kazmir can get better results with his next start. Wright pitched as I would expect, but Bolsinger and Cotton seemed off today as well. Just like the strong performance did not make Bolsinger a favorite for the #5, this outing will not hurt his chances. Kazmir and Bolsinger should get another 4 possible outings.

    I was only able to see part of the bottom of the 1st, tax time gets in my way of the Dodgers. Kazmir did not look comfortable, did not appear to have any command. I do not know if they ever replayed Pederson’s “non-catch”. It looked like a catch with my Dodger glasses, but I could not stick around for any replays.

    While the Dodgers had 20 hits, most were produced by non-regulars. Bellinger continues to hit well. He is going to be fun to watch develop. While Joc did get two hits, he needs to build on what he did today. Thompson has hit into some bad luck early on, but he has yet to K, which has been the negative against him. I would expect to see Trayce continue to get ABs. Dre and SVS look like they could become a formidable platoon. While Kendrick is mending, Micah Johnson is showing that as he gets more ABs he is getting more comfortable at the plate.

    The Dodgers did go 7-15 with RISP, and had 7 2-out RBIs. One other positive was that there were no Dodger errors today. Still way too early to make any decisions or determinations. But it does looks more like OKC is going to be pretty good this year.

  13. Barring injury, these spots are set:

    1B – Gonzalez
    SS- Seager
    3B – Turner
    LF – Ethier/SVS
    RF – Puig
    C – Grandal/Ellis



    That’s 18 spots that are taken. 7 More to go:

    The candidates:
    De Leon

    That’s 19 players for 7 spots. May the best men win!

  14. Looks like all lower case i’s have disappeared. Or maybe it’s my browser – google chrome.
    Looks lIke all lower case I’s have dIsappeared. Or maybe It’s my browser – google chrome.

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