I believe it was Bumsrap who suggested that the Dodgers have a rotation that rotated. This is meaning that the club swaps around the pitchers. Of course the top three of Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, and Kenta Maeda are locked in. What he meant was that the bottom two spots in the rotation could be switched around based on matchup. So one guy starts this week, next week a different hurler starts.
Maybe an opposing club has an all right handed lineup? In that case perhaps using a right hander would be better. Or if the Dodgers are facing a club with a lefty heavy lineup, then a left hander may be called upon to pitch. Or perhaps one pitcher has a much better track record pitching in a certain park. You get the idea. The moneyball guys just love platoons anyways.
It’s an interesting idea that the Dodgers are probably going to use for their number five spot in the rotation. With Brett Anderson out for at least the next three months, and Hyun-jin Ryu uncertain to even pitch again, the number five spot in the Dodger’s rotation is once again up for grabs.
I’ll go out on a limb and guess that Alex Wood gets the number four spot. Wood threw three innings on Thursday in the Dodger’s 4-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals. He allowed one earned run on four hits walked one and struck out one. There is still a lot of concern about his unorthodox delivery, but Wood is young and talented. I think there is a lot of hope for him to have a bounce back season in 2016.
There are several candidates for that always infamous fifth spot. Two of them were just recently optioned back to the minors. Top prospects Julio Urias, and Jose De Leon were just reassigned back to their respective minor league camps.
Mike Bolsinger, and Brandon Beachy are now probably the primary candidates to take over the fifth spot. Bolsinger and Beachy have both pitched well this spring. Bolsinger has posted a 2.00 ERA across nine frames this spring, striking out 6. While Beachy has not allowed an earned run in five spring innings. Of course spring training numbers don’t mean anything. What’s more important is that they have looked good on the mound.
Zach Lee is also a candidate to be in the rotation platoon. Lee has also pitched well, and has not been sent down yet. Lee has posted a 4.50 ERA in three games. He’s posted a 1.13 WHIP across eight innings. Then of course there is Carlos Frias who is still an internal option. The Dodgers have vowed to define his role and the rumors are that he will be used as a reliever. However the club could still utilize him as a spot starter. He’s pitched well this spring as well. Left hander Ian Thomas is also another candidate. Although I still think he sucks. To be fair he has thrown three shutout innings in exhibition play.
The point is the Dodgers have several pitchers to choose from for a spot they might not need as much as you think. The Dodgers do have two off days on April 11 and 18. They will need a fifth starter on April 8 against the Giants in San Francisco. Now that is a tough assignment for any pitcher.
The Dodgers may employ this rotation platoon for as long as possible until one of their injured pitchers (Anderson, Ryu, Brandon McCarthy) returns from the disabled list. I think it could be a perfect opportunity for one of these pitchers to step up and show the Dodgers what their made of.