By most accounts, the Los Angeles Dodgers upgraded the overall depth of the organization under the direction of president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi.
However, with Hyun-jin Ryu expected to be on the disabled list to begin the season and Erik Bedard out with a strained back muscle, the pitching staff has been placed under a microscope. With Ryu out, there will surely be an open spot in the rotation — at least once and perhaps a second time around.
Zaidi discussed some of the clubs internal options and wanting to give them an opportunity to fill the void, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
We really like what we’ve seen from (Joe) Wieland this spring. He was really good in San Antonio the other day,” Zaidi said Sunday. “(Carlos) Frias and (Mike) Bolsinger are guys that all along we felt comfortable with. You also want to create a situation where the guys you have internally who have been told they have a chance to compete – you want to give them the opportunity first if it arises.”
Last season, the Dodgers responded to injuries in their starting rotation by trading for fill-in starters. While Zaidi recently said the Dodgers have been searching for additional pitching depth, the club is better equipped than last season to absorb a starter missing some time.
Joe Wieland most recently pitched against the Texas Rangers in San Antonio during Big League Weekend, giving up three hits in 3.0 innings, issuing two walks and striking out four. So far this spring, he has thrown a total of 9.0 innings, has nine strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA.
The right-hander was a September callup for the San Diego Padres last season and earned his first career win on Sept. 24 against the Colorado Rockies. Wieland is a career 1-4 with a 5.31 ERA in nine game appearances (seven starts) during parts of the 2012 and 2014 seasons.
Mike Bolsinger Discusses First Start