The Los Angeles Dodgers are only a couple of weeks away from the postseason and many questions still need to be answered regarding who is throwing the ball for the NL West champs.
With injuries to starting pitchers Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, and Walker Buehler, many questions popped up halfway through the year on who will be pitching these all-important games.
“With the pitching, I think sort of by performance (and) by default, it’s becoming pretty clear as well,” Roberts said of the plans for the postseason roster. “But there’s still going to be some tougher conversations that we still have time to evaluate.”
(via Luca Evans, The Orange County Register)
The only experienced lock for the postseason this year is the legend Clayton Kershaw. However, this year is a little different as he is not entering this October healthy at all but is still giving it his all every time he takes the mound.
The Dodgers will most likely hope to get five innings out of the highly decorated veteran but will be quick to the bullpen if Kershaw can’t make his pitches with his shoulder issue causing his velocity to drop recently.
The new face for the Dodgers is the impressive rookie Bobby Miller who has already been named as one of the starting rotation pieces the Dodgers will take into this year’s postseason.
The impressive rookie has thrown 107.1 innings on the year with a 4.02 ERA. The ERA is a little inflated due to two bad months in the middle of the season but the 24-year-old pitcher has been consistent and sometimes dominant in his outing.
Most recently pitching seven innings against the Atlanta Braves, he held the All-Star lineup to just one run while striking out seven.
Who is on the bubble?
Midseason addition, Lance Lynn, is on the bubble after starting his Dodgers career going 4-0 with a 2 ERA. Since then the homerun ball has caught up to him and he is no longer striking batters out.
While Lynn has been plagued by the long ball all year, Dodgers coaches still believe they can tweak some things with the aged veteran and hopefully right his path before October.
“I think the last few starts there have been some mechanical things that he’s has to clean up that Mark (Prior) identifiedm” Roberts said. “He’s built to get deep into games, that’s how he’s wired. But, I think that having the mindset of ‘going as hard as you can as long as you can’ is what I’m looking for the next two starts for him.”
Another young pitcher who made his 2023 debut was Ryan Pepiot after coming back from the 60-day injured list. Pepiot originally won the last spot in the starting rotation after an impressive Spring Training but got hurt right before the season started.
Pepiot has made five appearances since being activated and he has pitched like a man on a mission. In 27 innings ,Pepiot has a 2.00 ERA and a 0.63 WHIP. The young pitcher has looked healthy and is feeling good using his amazing changeup to fool MLB-level hitters.
Other pitchers like Gavin Stone and Emmet Sheehan are promising rookies that have flashed moments of greatness but still are very raw and need to control the zone better.
Another name in the mix is Ryan Yarbrough who was a last-minute trade deadline acquisition the Dodgers wanted to use more as a bulk middle innings eater, but may be forced to start him due to the lack of numbers.
The Dodgers are the NL West division champions and have Dave Roberts, former Manager of the Year, calling the shots.
Dodger fans can trust him to put together the best lineup to give the Dodgers their best chance at taking home another World Series trophy.
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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