Early Thoughts on Dodgers Postseason Pitching Options

Two weeks from today ends the 2022 regular season. Two weeks left for the Los Angeles Dodgers to decide who will be on the postseason roster, work out any kinks, and, most importantly, stay healthy.

The Dodgers currently sit at 103 wins, three shy of their all time record. As we’ve mentioned before, that record is bound to fall.

And as we all know, while it would be a historic regular season, to a lot of fans it doesn’t matter if the Dodgers do not win the World Series. To have the best team, pretty much from the beginning of the season to the end, and then fall short in the playoffs, would be another disappointment in this run of truly great Dodger teams.

The area of most concern going into the playoffs is the starting rotation. The offense with the Big Four at the top should be worrying other pitching staffs. The bullpen, if all come back healthy, should also be pretty steady. But the starting rotation has a few question marks.

At the beginning of the season, the Dodgers had a plethora of options. Tony Gonsolin, who mid-season was a serious Cy Young contender halfway through the season, wasn’t sure if he was going to be in the starting rotation, or at least at the very back end of it. But injuries stole the latter half of his season, and it still remains to be seen if he will be able to contribute in the playoffs in a meaningful way.

Walker Buehler, thought to be the second coming of a Bulldog at the front of the rotation, is out until least the end of next season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Clayton Kershaw, Andrew Heaney, and Dustin May have all been out parts of this season dealing with injuries, with May most notably returning from his own Tommy John surgery. That leaves Julio Urías and Tyler Anderson as the only starters who have not dealt with injury this season.

Urías started the season a bit shaky, but has been strong since mid-June. He has won 15 of his last 16 starts, and has pitched to a 2.27 ERA. He has a low walk rate, and usually strikes out between six to eight batters an outing. His one issue is he tends to allow a homer each game- however most of the time it is just a solo shot.

Kershaw has been very good since his return from the IL. In his last four games, he has only allowed four earned runs, and walked four batters. He struck out 10 in his last outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.

So the question becomes, who do the Dodgers turn to after Urías and Kershaw? May seems to be the most obvious option. Since his return to the rotation, he has had two shaky outings. On September 2nd he allowed six runs to the San Diego Padres, and his next outing he allowed four runs, also to the Padres. His three other outings he allowed no runs twice and one run in the other. If he continues to get his groove back, the firepower of May would be a great playoff edition.

Anderson and Heaney could be used to piggy back each other, especially in a tough seven game series. Or they could be used as long men for one of the other starters.

Something that could be interesting to watch is if a starter gets used like Julio Urías did in the 2020 postseason. Urías threw the final pitch of the World Series as the Dodgers did not trust many other arms out of the bullpen. The playoffs are also in a format closer to the 2020 postseason, where there is not an off day between games five and six for a travel day.

In that vein, on Wednesday manager Dave Roberts said that Blake Treinen will not be activated this week, as had previously been thought. He is not bouncing back from his Monday bullpen as had been hoped, and Roberts indicated the team is unsure if Treinen will be able to contribute in the playoffs.

Brusdar Graterol will be activated on Thursday.

The Dodgers do have the luxury of having a lot of arms from which to choose, and time to have things sort themselves out. For now, fans will just have to speculate which arms will possibly get the Dodgers back to being World Series Champions.

Dodgers Set to Open NLCS Against Atlanta Braves

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The Los Angeles Dodgers continue their quest to win the 2020 World Series today by starting a best-of-seven series against the Atlanta Braves in Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

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Should Gavin Lux Make the Postseason Roster?

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Even though the Dodgers went 4-2 on their home stand, and scored 16 runs in one of the games against the Colorado Rockies, their late season drudgery continues. The starting pitching is tired, and the bats don’t seem to have much pep at the moment.

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Dodgers Bullpen: Narrowing the Squad Down to the 8 Best Relievers

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As there’s still a ton of work to be done before a playoff spot is secure, the Dodgers can at least take solace in the fact that they control their own destiny, while not needing to depend on anyone else for help during the final few regular season games. That being said, the magic number is five with five games remaining on the schedule—two more against the Diamondbacks and three against the Giants in San Francisco. They won’t be easy contests by any means, but at the same time, Los Angeles certainly has the talent to win all five if they need to.

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Dodgers Shakeup NLCS Roster by Adding Charlie Culberson, Joc Pederson

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While many thought the NLCS roster of the Dodgers would be almost identical to the squad which captured the Division Series in a three-game sweep over the Diamondbacks, the club announced several changes on Saturday morning, most notably the exclusion of shortstop Corey Seager, who has been suffering from back problems.

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No Wholesale Roster Changes Expected for Dodgers Ahead of NLCS

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As there are conceivably several different factors which may influence the management crew of the Dodgers when selecting the prospective roster for the upcoming NLCS, one can only presume that the majority of the squad chosen for the Division Series will stay intact—a formula which convincingly did its job in a three-game sweep over the Diamondbacks.

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Dodgers Reveal Opening Round Playoff Roster to Face Diamondbacks

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The Los Angeles Dodgers announced their 2017 NLDS roster to oppose the Diamondbacks on Friday morning, and we here at Think Blue Planning Committee predicted it pretty well.

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Dodgers 2017 Playoff Roster Projections: Second Edition

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As it’s been nearly two weeks since we published our initial projections of the Dodgers‘ roster for the 2017 NLDS, several circumstances have transpired which in turn have shed some light on the squad which will take the field at Dodger Stadium on October 6.

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