After minor injuries forced the Los Angeles Dodgers to briefly rely on other starters for their Cactus League games, they’ve hit the point in Spring Training where their starting rotation mirrors what’s expected come the regular season.
Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu both made their debuts this week, Brandon McCarthy was on the mound for a second time Friday, and Brett Anderson is scheduled for his second start of the spring on Saturday. While the Dodgers have their rotation in place, it’s been a bag of mixed results.
However, that isn’t something manager Don Mattingly is concerned with and he also added he was content with McCarthy’s three innings on Friday, according to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
I thought he was fine. It was moving on,” manager Don Mattingly said. “With our starters I’m not really concerned about the results. It’s more about getting ready for the season.”
McCarthy allowed one run on three hits Friday against the Cincinnati Reds. He threw 41 pitches and had seven of his nine outs come by way of ground ball. Over his two starts, the right-hander has gone a combined five innings and allowed two runs on five hits.
Greinke’s return to the mound didn’t coincide with the standard results that have come to be expected of him. However, it wasn’t much of a surprise given it was his first outing and Greinke said he was working on a new grip for his slider.
If there’s a perfect example for Mattingly to point to as reason for him not being overly concerned with Spring Training results, it’s Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers’ ace has pitched well this spring, but notoriously struggles during this time of the year.
For the Dodgers rotation, getting healthy and building the arm strength to pitch six-plus innings is much more important than looking at a box score and seeing two or three runs were allowed in a loss.
Brandon McCarthy Discusses First Spring Training Start