Based on just the injuries alone, you would think that the Los Angeles Dodgers don’t even possess a rotation worthy of being in the top five. However, that’s not the case. In fact, according to FanGraphs, the Dodgers do have one of the best rotations in baseball, and it comes in a tie for first.
The team that the Dodgers are tied with shouldn’t shock you. After all, it is the New York Mets. However, whether you want to view Los Angeles as being number one or number two doesn’t matter. The fact remains that the rotation is still quite strong, and people should believe in it a little more.
But also, this spring, Wood is back to his rookie-year velocity, and his rookie-year arm slot. He’s a major sleeper. Maeda isn’t actually injured, not yet, and Andrew Friedman didn’t express any Kazmir concern. Urias is more or less ready, and there might not be a better pitching prospect. De Leon is an excellent prospect hidden in Urias’ shadow. Bolsinger will return. Ryu should return. McCarthy should return. Anderson should return. And on, and on. There are so many positives here, no matter how many negatives it feels like there have been. The Dodgers are loaded.
Sullivan hits the nail on the head here. While the rotation has gone through its own injury woes, it’s still pretty darn loaded with talent across the board. Even taking out Kershaw, you can’t overlook the possible impact that a Kazmir-Maeda-Wood 2-3-4 can have on a team. It’s extensive.
With Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda, and Alex Wood already locked into rotation spots, you can see the probability for success right there. And, as Sullivan notes, all the injured pitchers should return. The pitching depth is there, as is the quality. The Dodgers and Mets are each projected for 19.7 Wins Above Replacement out of their rotation.