The Los Angeles Dodgers are fresh off of a World Series run that resulted in a game seven loss. Although they retained their stars, the Dodgers cannot be complacent with the starting rotation.
The Los Angeles Dodgers made their first World Series run in 29 years last season. Although the team ultimately fell short, the entire city of Los Angeles should be proud of what the team accomplished. With homegrown talent and journeymen leading the way, the Dodgers became Hollywood’s ultimate story.
That was until the Houston Astros came into town and outslugged the Dodgers, leading to a 5-1 game seven victory. As great as the win was for the city of Houston after Hurricane Harvey, Dodger fans couldn’t help but play the “what if” game for the ensuing weeks.
The positive to take out of the heartbreaking game seven loss is that most of the Dodgers’ talent in still intact. Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, Yasiel Puig, Logan Forsythe, Austin Barnes and Yasmani Grandal are all returning.
Andre Ethier, Brandon Morrow, Chase Utley and Yu Darvish are the biggest losses this offseason. Morrow already left to the Chicago Cubs. Los Angeles can still sign Ethier, Utley or Darvish as well. Out of the three, Darvish is by far the most impactful.
Which points directly to the Dodgers’ problem this offseason: complacency. I understand that they were by far the most talented team in the league last season. I get how the front office wants to keep the locker room chemistry at bay and head into 2018 where they left off in 2017. It is understandable.
However, that very rarely leads to results. Every other team in the league gets better, if you become complacent, you get worse. The one area that Dodgers definitely cannot afford to be complacent in is in the starting rotation.
So far, Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu make up the starting rotation. The first thing that sticks out is how left-handed heavy the rotation is. Four of the five guys are southpaws.
The main problem with the Dodgers rotation though is the lack of a true number two starter. Wood was an all-star last season and was lights out the majority of the year. However, as the second dwindled down, Wood became fatigued and his performance took a direct hit. He was not able to take the workload of a number two starter and instead should be a number three.
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Then you have two big question marks in Ryu and Maeda. Ryu was a rollercoaster last season and did not make any playoff rosters because he could not transition to the bullpen. Maeda also has a problem with fizzling out when fatigued. However, in the postseason he should the capability of being a lights out right-handed option in the bullpen.
The fact remains that the Dodgers need one more solid right-handed option behind Kershaw. Darvish was the perfect fit last year, but after his World Series performance could be kissing LA goodbye. Los Angeles needs to do something.
I get that you want to keep your core constant, but Andrew Friedman and company still need to make some sort of addition. If not, come September, we could see another near meltdown as we saw in 2018.
Dodger fans should be praying that the front office gets something done. If any front office is going to do something genius, it is going to be LA’s.