As it currently stands, the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to go into the 2016 season with a very left-handed dominant rotation. It all starts at the top with ace Clayton Kershaw, who probably defies the lefty-right argument just because he’s so darn good that what arm he uses doesn’t matter.
After that, though, it’s a slew of pitchers like Hyun-jin Ryu, Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir, and Alex Wood. There is a righty in the group, though — Japanese hurler Kenta Maeda — but the rotation is, for the most part, dominated by left-handed arms that the team seems content with using this year.
“It’s just new to everyone,” Kazmir said. “When is the last time you’ve seen it? That’s why it’s such a big deal. Maybe I’m biased, but I’m all for it. I’ve said this before: If you have guys that pitch like Kershaw, they can get right-handers out just as much as left-handers.”
The beauty for the Dodgers is that, as Padilla notes, they don’t exactly have to go far to see the last time a team went to a rotation that featured four left-handed starters. In fact, the team who shares the Camelback Ranch spring training center with the Dodgers, the Chicago White Sox, did it last season.
As White Sox ace Chris Sale notes:
“Those guys, and what they bring to the table, I think they’ll be all right,” Sale said.
And Sale is a great person to listen to when it comes to stuff like this. He, like Kershaw, happens to be one of the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball — left-handed, right-handed, or otherwise. So Sale knows the stuff of the Dodgers and what they can do to opposing hitters.
Then again, as Sale also said, having Kershaw changes all the rules:
“[Kershaw] is just in a league of his own, so you don’t even count him as one of the four because it’s like you have three lefties and Kershaw.
That’s the nature of everything. The arm Kershaw uses to throw doesn’t matter here. He’s fantastic against everyone. The other three left-handed starters — Anderson, Kazmir, and Ryu — will certainly see their share of right-handed hitters, but it’s nothing to be overly concerned about.
A left-handed dominant rotation seems like something teams would want to avoid, but if the best pitchers you have are left-handed then it’s not that big of a deal. The Dodgers are hoping that going lefty is right for their title hopes in 2016.