While many baseball fans around the globe tuned into the 2017 MLB All-Star Game expecting an offensively dominant showcase of fireworks, the almost complete opposite occurred — a display of superior pitching with a few timely hits sprinkled in along the way.
This team. Every time you think a game’s over, it’s not. There’s always something happening, someone else stepping up to do the damage. Thursday night was another wild ending that resulted in a walkoff win for the Dodgers.
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.
While many of the club’s current troubles can probably be attributed to the lack of offensive consistency, many fans of the Dodgers are beginning to have concerns about the overall quality of the starting rotation, especially in the absence of southpaw Alex Wood.
There’s very little doubt that the Dodgers have among the deepest pools of pitchers to choose from when building their everyday starting rotation, if there is such a thing these days. Yet, with all the depth at almost every single level of the organization, many who follow the team closely wonder if the quality of starting pitching is good enough to perform successfully through the entire regular season and into the playoffs.
Not long after we began a little discussion involving a few of the bullpen’s high-risk pieces, the Dodgers on Tuesday reinstated left-handed pitcher Rich Hill from the 10-day disabled list and optioned lefty reliever Grant Dayton to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Hindsight is always 20/20. Of course. But I bet that Dave Roberts wishes he would’ve pulled a different play in the top of the first inning yesterday. Instead of having Chris Taylor swing away, he called for a sacrifice squeeze. The Dodgers already had two runs in, and two runners on base. Instead of getting to the rookie pitcher early, Taylor hit into a inning ending double-play where Utley was tagged out trying to go home and Yasmani Grandal was tagged trying to head into third.
With the return of lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu against the Rockies in Denver on Thursday night, and the prospective reactivation of veteran southpaw Rich Hill during the Giants series next week in San Francisco, the starting rotation of the Los Angeles Dodgers is about to get seven pitchers deep.
When taking a cursory glance at the current starting rotation of the Los Angeles Dodgers, many who follow the club closely couldn’t be happier with the performance over the first five weeks of the 2017 campaign, despite the frequent shuffling of a few players because of several minor injuries.