At this point last week, many followers of the Dodgers were beginning to show signs of concern for a major collapse in the standings, yet many close to the team who knew a little bit about mathematical probability simply shrugged off the slump as a common occurrence which could happen to any contending squad.
At this particular juncture of the 2017 campaign, it’s a bit difficult to provide a general outlook regarding the starting rotation of the Dodgers, mainly because of its present instability. Yet, although the pitching hasn’t been the sole culprit of the club’s first four-game losing streak since May of 2016, it has indeed been ugly as of late, especially in the current series against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
With each passing day, it seems as if more positive news surfaces regarding the improvement of staff ace Clayton Kershaw‘s back injury. Yet regardless of how hard the three-time NL Cy Young award winner pushes for a return to the active roster, the Dodgers have hardly any rationale at all to warrant a speedy return to the team.
Fans of the Dodgers were set to go nuts if the front office didn’t come though for them at the trade deadline, getting them another starting pitcher to help Clayton Kershaw and Company in the playoffs. But low and behold, seemingly at the last minute, they did, trading three prospects to the Texas Rangers for right handed pitcher Yu Darvish.
While there are several factors which could potentially contribute to the dynamics of the Dodgers pitching rotation over the coming week, the club still continues to take a conservative approach on a day-to-day basis, protecting themselves from one or two outcomes that may determine the fate of the starting five moving forward.
Long before Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw‘s scheduled evaluation with back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins on Monday, reports began to surface on Twitter, most specifically from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, indicating that the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner will presumably miss four to six weeks after a back injury became evident in Sunday’s series finale against the Braves.
Right at the tail end of an offensive hiatus last week, we discussed the possibility of the Dodgers having the desire to pursue offensive help before the 2017 trade deadline. Yet as the lumber once again awoke from the dead — powered primarily by the fuel of youngsters Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger — many fans are now turning their attention to the starting rotation, which may ultimately lack the required depth to make a run deep into the postseason this autumn.
Moments before the series finale against the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon, skipper Dave Roberts told reporters his plans regarding the Dodgers starting rotation for the weekend, which will feature a three-game set against the Reds to conclude the current homestand.