Before the season, talk was centered on the Dodgers’ impressive depth, especially in the starting pitching department. That concept has not come to reality in the season’s opening month.
Brandon McCarthy has been a pleasant surprise, and Clayton Kershaw is still himself, but the rest of the Dodgers starters have been inconsistent and unreliable.
#Dodgers when Kershaw or McCarthy starts — 5-2, 6IP or more 6 of 7 starts
Everyone else — 3-8, 6.22 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, avg 4 2/3 IP per start
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) April 23, 2017
The Los Angeles bullpen has thrown 60.2 innings so far, good for fifth in the NL. Outside the meltdown in Arizona, the bullpen has been solid. But using it at its current pace is not ideal. The team needs more innings from its starters.
Kenta Maeda is in a funk, and that may push him temporarily out of the rotation. His velocity – and quite possibly his confidence – is down. He currently owns an 8.05 ERA.
Hyun-Jin Ryu has been serviceable, but prone to the long ball. He’s still working to build back strength, and while the team thought it was in position to be patient, the group hasn’t held serve around Ryu.
Scott Kazmir began throwing Saturday, but he’s unlikely to provide much of a boost. Rich Hill can’t seem to avoid blisters, and his concern is staying on the mound. Alex Wood has been decent in his spot starts, though the team seems to prefer him in the bullpen.
The Dodgers poor start can largely, though not exclusively, be placed on the rotation’s shoulders. Los Angeles simply needs more from the unit. Perhaps help comes in the form of Julio Urias this week, but the organization needs internal improvement if it intends to win its fifth straight division title.