Among the minds of many fans of the Dodgers, there seems to be the speculation that there are quite a few auditions currently being held for spots on the prospective NLDS roster. Yet, outside of perhaps one or two last minute decisions, the roster is probably close to being solidified—at least in the eyes of the management crew. One of the final contemplations, however, will be trying to figure out how to put the finishing touches on the bullpen, which could very well boil down to the inclusion of either Kenta Maeda or Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Clayton Kershaw. Everybody knows that name. It’s a name that is often followed by these words: “The Best Pitcher on the Planet.” I agree with that statement, and not just because I’m a fan of the Dodgers. I agree with it because it just makes sense. People often say that Kershaw has the potential to be the best pitcher baseball has ever seen, all he needs to do is win a World Series. The Dodgers have as good of a chance at a championship this year than they ever have before.
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.
When the Dodgers snagged Yu Darvish in the waning moments before the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline, there was a mixed reaction among the more educated fans of the club, especially when considering his two-inning, 10-earned run debacle against the Marlins just days before. However, the 31-year-old Japanese righty seemingly put that entire mess to rest after he threw seven shutout innings in his Dodgers debut against the Mets, striking out 10 batters and only surrendering three hits and a walk on August 4.
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.
The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish from the 10-day disabled list and placed right-handed pitcher Josh Fields on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain. Fields’ stint on the DL can be retroactive to August 25, if needed.
With arguably three of the club’s best starting arms currently on the shelf, it’s difficult to believe that the Dodgers still continue to perform at a tremendous rate of success. And despite a nightmarish impromptu start from young righty Brock Stewart against the Pirates on Tuesday evening, the powerful Los Angeles bats lived up to their high profile billing, guiding the squad to its 89th victory of the year. What a shame it is, though, that the offense was unable to muster just a single run in support of Rich Hill‘s spectacular pitching exhibition on Wednesday night.
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.
Now that all the dust has settled on the hysteria of the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline, fans, players and the coaching staff of the Dodgers presumably feel a bit more confident about the club’s chances in pushing deeper into this year’s postseason. The addition of four-time All-Star pitcher Yu Darvish unquestionably improves a rotation which already leads the majors in ERA, yet many are left wondering which pitchers will get bumped out of the starting crew and which arms will left off the impending playoff roster completely.