The Dodgers have completed their first road trip of the season, returning home with just a 2-6 record against the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs. As my friend Chuck says, just get in and out of those locales without any injuries, and we can call it a success. Mission almost accomplished. During the road trip the Dodgers lost Franklin Gutierrez to a left hamstring strain, placed him on the 10-day DL and recalled Trayce Thompson from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
They’re the team that many baseball experts have picked to be a possible breakout team in 2017 — the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers begin a three-game set with the could-be NL West spoilers on Friday, which is also Colorado’s home opener. The Rockies are sporting the same record as the Dodgers at 3-1. They are in their first year being managed by Bud Black, who most recently was with the San Diego Padres. It’s the Dodgers’ first game at Coors Field since the infamous Andrew Toles grand slam comeback game in August of last year.
Outside of a dreary evening against Padres’ starter Clayton Richard on Tuesday, the Dodgers‘ opening series of the 2017 campaign turned out to be quite productive. Three wins in four games is a solid outcome for Los Angeles, as the crew now prepares to carry its momentum to the mountains of Denver for a three-game set against the Rockies.
In the overwhelming number of game previews leading up to the Dodgers‘ season opener against the Padres on Monday afternoon, there were actually a few writers who referred to the San Diego squad as having the traits of a “glorified Triple-A club.” While the description certainly seemed to hold true in the first game of the series, the Padres almost appeared like a division contender in Tuesday’s affair, riding the back of southpaw Clayton Richard to a 4-0 shutout of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Dodgers begin their quest to win the 2017 World Series on Monday, opening up a four-game set against the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers open the season at home, sending their ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound for a record tying seventh time, and their first without legendary announcer Vin Scully behind the microphone.
For many fans of the Dodgers, it’s beginning to become an annual occurrence — overwhelming optimism about a stacked rotation in the winter, eventually turning into genuine concern about the prospective starting pitching crew as Opening Day draws near. What was once a highly talented staff extending to the rafters at Triple-A Oklahoma City now has a few gray areas even at the big league level.
The countdown is on — just two weeks until the Dodgers open up the season against the San Diego Padres. Clayton Kershaw will be the starter that day, but on his last start he looked less than Kershaw-like. Kersh allowed three home runs, four runs total on six hits in five innings. He also had eight strikeouts and two walks.
As a whole, quite a few factors will determine how the starting rotation of the Dodgers compares to those of others around baseball as the 2017 campaign progresses. First and foremost, good health is particularly critical, while overall stamina and endurance will also play key roles in the team’s prosperity. The presence of resident ace Clayton Kershaw probably warrants a Top 20 MLB ranking in itself, yet without the luxury of a true No. 2 starter, the Dodgers slide somewhere right in the middle of the Top 10, at least in the eyes of most informed fans.
With the arrival of Opening Day now hovering right around the three week mark, much of the fan focus has steadied on the prospective starting rotation of the Dodgers, as each passing day seemingly has one small happening or event which somehow affects the future makeup of the pitching staff.
Five weeks is a whole lot of time. But even though there’s still more than a month of Cactus League play to help the management crew of the Dodgers answer questions about the club’s prospective 25-man roster, early revelations in camp may be indicating the current pattern of thinking when it comes to the team’s starting pitching hierarchy.