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When we initially decided to take our first look at the Oklahoma City rotation at this point last year, all spots were seemingly up for grabs, with nine different pitchers contending for starting slots at the highest level on the Dodgers‘ farm. The big league pitching staff was still in rough shape, as the front office crew was working diligently to finalize deals with veteran lefty Scott Kazmir and Japanese sensation Kenta Maeda as the final days of 2015 dwindled away.
It seems as though the Dodgers and Minnesota Twins might be getting closer on a trade agreement that would include sending Brian Dozier to LA. Rumors have been swirling for weeks. One of the sticking points was the inclusion of Jose De Leon. News broke today that the Dodgers may now be willing to include him.
Being normal for the time of year, there are many trade rumors going around. One tweet stirring up some interesting thoughts is an idea by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. He sees the Chicago White Sox being very good trade partners for the Dodgers. Chris Sale, Todd Frazier, Jose Quintana, and David Robertson are players that the White Sox would be willing to move in order to restructure, while Cody Bellinger, Alex Verdugo, Jose De Leon, Willie Calhoun and Yasiel Puig are all players that the White Sox could have interest in.
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Whenever the front office group of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been faced with any type of impactful decision facing the 25-man roster during the 2016 season, it’s very safe to say that the crew almost always takes the subtle approach, leaving no stones unturned while doing all the required homework; yet it sometimes seems as though their thinking is totally outside the box compared to the average fan’s typical perspective.
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After having seen resident ace Clayton Kershaw show signs of his normal self on Wednesday amidst five scoreless frames in rainy New York, it’s probably safe to say that he’s feeling sharp and ready to lead a charge, while the remainder Dodgers‘ starting rotation is finally beginning to take shape inside the last 17 games of the regular season.
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Early reports from the clubhouse after the game indicated that Kazmir was suffering the same types of neck and rib cage pain that initially landed him on the disabled list last month. The 32-year-old southpaw was removed from the playoff opener against Nashville with just two outs in the first inning. During the struggle, Kazmir hit two batters, walked two more, and gave up a home run before making way to righty Lisalverto Bonilla. OKC would make an effort to battle back from the early deficit, but eventually fell to the Sounds, 10-7.
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If there’s one department that has been inconsistently consistent for the Dodgers over the course of the 2016 season, it’s undoubtedly the starting pitching rotation.
It was only towards the end of last winter, just shortly after the club signed Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda, that many fans were calling for a trade of Alex Wood because of the rotation being overcrowded. Resident ace Clayton Kershaw would be the headliner while southpaw Brett Anderson brought up the rear. Sandwiched in between would be Kazmir and Maeda, along with lefty Hyun-jin Ryu, who, at the time, was throwing well and poised to join the rotation by Opening Day.
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From the very first day the injury bug began biting the Dodgers‘ starting rotation early in the season, many fans have been chattering about a big league promotion for pitching prospect Jose De Leon. Now, after a long anticipated wait and just 27 games remaining on the regular season schedule, those same fans will get their wish as the 24-year-old righty is set to make his Dodgers debut in the series finale against the Padres on Sunday.