Thoughts on Prospective Starting Rotation, Other Spring Training Notes

(USA TODAY Sports photo)

We are now just days away from the first spring training game. With the start of games, the Dodgers will show an incredible depth of pitching arms throughout Cactus League play.

Surely, there will be some degree of competition throughout the spring schedule. Three starting pitching rotation spots seem to be confirmed in Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Trevor Bauer.

The rest of the spots seemingly could be up for grabs between Julio Urias, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, David Price. In fact, Mitch White and Josiah Gray might not be too far away..

There are several options the Dodgers could take, as the depth they have is a good problem to have. Trades are always a possibility, as well as bumping back a starter or two to the bullpen for long relief..

The Dodgers could go with a six-man rotation, giving pitchers a day off, as well as easing back any arms from injury. Even with a six-man rotation that could leave an odd man out. A ballclub can only have so many arms taking turns.

It could be very possible that one of these pitchers could be sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City to stay sharp pitching innings. We all saw how effective Urias was pitching out of the bullpen during the World Championship run, and the question will arise at some point in the season if he should be moved to the bullpen.

Personally, I believe that Price will be in the rotation, as well as Urias. The odd man could possibly be May or Gonsolin, setting up a potentially strong bullpen or a few dominant headliners at OKC.

Both Gonsolin and May, in recent seasons have pitched in multiple roles and have performed pretty well.

Manager Dave Roberts hasn’t yet named an Opening Day starter, but he hinted the announcement could be coming rather soon. We will get more answers as to how the rotation might shape up as camp continues.

Only two days away from the Dodgers first Spring Training game against Oakland Athletics, there were a few team notes on Friday.

Mookie Betts emphasized the Dodgers need to stay hungry for 2021 in hopes of repeating as champions.

“You fight so hard to get on top, and once you’re at the top, it’s hard to stay,” he said.

The outfielder also talked about trying to golf off the improving Padres, but he acknowledged that a number of MLB clubs could pose challenges.

“I think any big league team is gonna push us,” Betts added. “Anybody can win at any given time. We know that they’re good. It’s going to be a battle. But we can’t just focus on the Padres. There’s a lot of good teams out there.”

Roberts talked about the versatility of Chris Taylor, saying that his super-utilityman will most likely play every day, but not always in the same position, adding he could play second base, all the outfield spots, shortstop, and even some third base.

7 thoughts on “Thoughts on Prospective Starting Rotation, Other Spring Training Notes

  1. I don’t get it. I just assumed that since Kickham is getting the start on Sunday he would be named opening day starter for the regular season as well. Was I wrong?

    May and Gonsolin are saying all the right things about wanting to fill whatever role they are put in and wanting to do what’s best for the team, etc. etc. etc. but I think if either or both are sent to OKC to start the season they probably aren’t going to be real happy. I could be wrong but I would guess that both would rather be in the bullpen this year than be sent out to OKC to be stretched out as a starter, even if they are then brought back after a couple of months.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you gentlemen. Both of these young guys May & Gonsolin, pitched well last year. On any other club, they would be heralded as young phenoms and in the starting rotation. An article this week stated May hit 101 in practice and we know his pitches have movement. As May is only 23 and he has said he needs to work on his secondary pitches he might be the best one to send down as needed. I thought by now the Dodgers would have traded a couple of the Farm guys as they are blocked. There have been good reports from Camelback on Gray and Pepiot impressed everyone in the AZL league. White, Santana, Uceta, Carrillo, etc all are blocked for the next year or two. Maybe trade for a well-regarded young 3rd baseman or outfielder from a team rebuilding like the Pirates or? Most teams need young pitching. We can all be sure Friedman has a plan.


  3. I firmly believe that May is going to start the year at AAA. Reason>? Simple, Gonsolin has more experience out of the pen and looks like he can adapt to that easier than May, and May needs to work on his off speed pitches. I have no problem with that. Pitching in normal rotation with a set routine can do him nothing but good. And it lets a more experienced reliever make the roster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your reasoning is sound Bear but that doesn’t mean May will like the decision, especially after spending the entire 2020 season in the majors and pretty much doing whatever they asked with no complaints.

      I’m sure Doc and Andrew will give him a good pep talk at the airport when they send him off to OKC. I just wonder when they’ll tell him that they intend to sign Syndergaard, Scherzer, Verlander and Greinke this coming winter when they’re all free agents.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I didn’t say he would like it, and in all honesty, I would not expect him to. Just makes the most sense unless there is a injury somewhere. Kid has good stuff, but he still needs more seasoning.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. If May can perfect his secondary pitches he will be very hard to hit. His velocity plus movement are off the charts he just needs a change of speed and height to stop the batter from locking in on one pitch. I am sure a little experience at OKC would help. Read a report on Pepiot playing in the AZ League site. Reports agree he was one of the most impressive pitchers there.


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