Heading into Saturday’s games, the Los Angeles Dodgers have 19 contests remaining on the regular-season schedule. There’s still plenty of work to do as far as National League and World Series home field advantages go, and there’s still some sorting out to do regarding the roster.
The Dodgers play their final regular season game against the Rockies on October 5, then they’ll have to do some waiting before finding out who they’ll face in the NLDS. October 5 falls on a Wednesday, and the Wild Card games do not begin until that Friday. Regardless of whether the Wild Card rounds last two or three games, the Dodgers won’t play until Tuesday the 11th, giving them nearly a full week of rest.
It might sound like a broken record at this point of the season, but health could be the primary determiner of how well the Dodgers do in the 2022 postseason. For as good as Dustin May was in Friday night’s opener against the Giants, we learned that he was dealing with some arm soreness earlier in the week, which was the main reason why his start was pushed back a day and probably the reason why manager Dave Roberts replaced him in the sixth inning of a no-hit effort.
Although the soreness is likely a result of easing back into a normal workload, fans can’t help but be concerned.
As it stands, May might be the fourth starter on the playoff roster. While there’s a possibility the Dodgers might only need three starters if they sweep in the NLDS, there will eventually come a time for a fourth. In a perfect world, the Dodgers will not have to employ any bullpen games, which might have been one of the contributing factors to their defeat in the 2021 NLCS.
The news on Tony Gonsolin hasn’t been good. Although Roberts continues to tell reporters his righty might be good to go for the playoffs, it’s definitely not wise to bank on him returning at 100%. There have been some recent whispers that Gonsolin could return to the playoff roster as a reliever.
Career-wise as a reliever, Gonsolin has made eight appearances and has thrown 22-1/3 innings with a 1.254 WHIP and 4.03 ERA. As a starter, he has logged 50 starts and 248-/3 innings with a 0.958 WHIP and a 2.32 ERA.
Anyway, should health stay on the Dodgers’ side the rest of the way, Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Anderson will join May in the NLDS starting rotation mix in some order. Andrew Heaney may still have some work to do pleading his case for roster inclusion.
Gonsolin remains in the maybe category.
2 thoughts on “Dodgers Roster: More Thoughts on Possible Playoff Rotation”
On a rotation this loaded, when he’s on, May is as dominant as anyone, and he may not even fully be back. His outstanding start last time out speaks loudly to how well the team is handling the staff this year, giving him some extra rest, not too much but just enough. His biggest challenge has been his confidence wavering, but starts like the last one is exactly what the Doc ordered. There aren’t a lot of starters in the NL that have sub-3 era, but the Dodgers have no less than 5, plus a guy who can also pitch at that level (May). The post-season bullpen might be even scarier, and when you take the best bullpen in baseball and add some great arms coming back from injury as well as the likely additions from the rotation, Gonsolin and Heany, that’s heady stuff indeed.
May might have the highest ceiling of all the starting pitchers. The crazy thing about it is that he might also have one of the lowest floors.