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Dodgers 2020 Rotation Ranked Top-10 in MLB by ESPN



The Dodgers have always boasted Cy Young caliber starting pitchers from Sandy Koufax to Don Newcombe to Clayton Kershaw. Their rotation history has almost been matched the past few seasons with stellar performances from names like Hyun-Jin Ryu, Walker Buehler, and Alex Wood.

For a team like the Dodgers who had a top-tier rotation already, losing left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is not necessarily the end of the world for the club. However, it does force them to take a step back and rely on rookies like right-handers Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, and Josiah Gray. They all figure to play a role at one point or another.

In a recent column for ESPN, Bradford Doolittle takes a look and ranks the top rotations of Major League Baseball.

The Dodgers checked in at number ten, with the Washington Nationals and both New York teams pacing the league as the top three ranked.

Here is the excerpt specifically pertaining to the Dodgers:

L.A. will be looking from some youthful ascendents among Gonsolin, May and Urias. Because it’s the Dodgers, you almost assume this will happen. Still, this is yet another team that you’d expect to add a veteran free agent. And the Dodgers’ certainty in this area would certainly have been bolstered by a reunion with Ryu.

The Dodgers will certainly embrace a different dynamic to their rotation in 2020, but that could be a good thing. What they may lack in overwhelming dominance, they make up for with quality depth. While Walker Buehler is the obvious staff ace now, Clayton Kershaw remains an effective (even if less than ideal) number two in the rotation. May and Urias possess electric stuff but may be hampered by innings restrictions, limiting their effectiveness in the coming year.

Of course, word is that Los Angeles is still pushing for a move to bolster the rotation. No, not another buy low and hope for the best arm, but a legitimate complement to Buehler at the front of the five. Indians flame-thrower Mike Clevinger has most often been linked to LA in the news. Still, even if the Dodgers open up the 2020 season with the rotation Andrew Friedman laid out earlier this off-season, it may be enough to hold over until the trade deadline in July.

NEXT: Ross Stripling Believes Dodgers Can and Will Make Big Move

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

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  1. The Dodgers will make a big move if it makes sense short and long term. They have plenty of talent that is blocked like Beaty, Rios, Garland, White, Santana, Gonzalez etc. Also have established guys they should trade to bring up young players like DJ Peters. So hopefully they can trade Pederson, Pollock, Talylor or Kike.
    But they do not need to do any of that and can bet on the young arms to power them through.
    No one gives Urias the respect he should have. This young man will be a dynamic starter and rival Buehler this year or next. May, Gonsolin and Grey should be counted on to make an impact,
    The Dodgers do not need Lindor or Betts. They have a great offensive team that is better than last years starting line up.
    The Nats are very much a contender as any team in a short series with two great aces will be, The Dodgers have Buehler and the potential to have Urias, May, Gonsolin, Grey or ? to come up and make an impact.
    This is the fun part of baseball! Watching the young guys learn their craft and excel!

    • Exactly how is the offense better than last season? The 4 guys you want traded will somehow become the LF platoon. You apparently are expecting Verdugo to shake off his back issue and come in with a career year. And I suppose career years for everyone else as well. The FO has done nothing to improve the offense. And with Dave managing the team, there is no set starting line up…everyday is a crap-shoot.

      • I agree with the prognostication of tmaxster. IF we sign no new players (or make no trades) just think about it. Muncy moves to first (or flips with Turner). Lux is now at second. Seager and Turner. 3 of the 4, former All Stars. Lux? He is going to be one tough cookie. His first at bat? Waited for a pitch, then drove it up the middle. He could be the real deal. He will be an All star before it is over. Put him in a lineup with a bunch of heavy hitters, and they will have to pitch to him. By the way, I think Muncy becomes a Silver Slugger at one point. Seager? He had a good year. Next year he will be a year removed from rehab. Look out. Our catcher? Smith is going to be a solid hitter with lots of pop. 25 homers. The outfield will be better, too. Bellinger may not have a 9.0 WAR; but he probably will have a 7. But don’t count him out of another run at MVP. His dad is a BIG help to keep him grounded. Pollock will be more like the second half last year; which was solid. The screw has been removed from his arm. And he has settled into LA. Then we have Pederson and Verdugo. If this team stays healthy??? MAN!! So, frankly, this team could be something else.

        • Still, this team currently lacks balance in the lineup, as we have no real RH impact hitter.
          it amazes me to no end that because of this, every time the Dodgers face a LHP, Roberts shuffles everything and everybody around accordingly..

        • “Seager? He had a good year. ”

          Had a decent regular season and looked like a lost soul at the plate in the playoffs. HORRID numbers…

          He’ll be fine for another West Crown, and tank against the elite pitchers in PS again.

          Another ‘almost ring’ for LA.

          Sells tickets and makes money, I guess…

          • 4.0 WAR. 5.0 is AllStar level. Not many shortstops in MLB did better. Maybe 4 or 5? And he was in recovery from serious, serious surgery from 2018.

      • Seager will be better, Smith will have a whole yr, and then there’s a guy named Lux. So yeah it could be said the offense will be better.

    • Power them till about August when they all flame out or are on some kind of limit. What will we have by October is what matters and it’s never the same strong team as the summer. Doesn’t help that these geniuses treat September like spring training every year, that’s a great way to get mentally prepared for the playoffs

      • great observation….you’re right Sept rolls around and the true “rec lineups” follow.

        Your point about limiting innings to help keep players strong makes sense. Thing is you nailed it that the team as a whole looks flat on the field. I’ve felt the Dodgers need some change in their in-season conditioning program. It’s seems to happen every season.

  2. If the Dodgers don’t land a big time starter in an off season Trade, it will be another poor playoff performance and early exit to the off season! They have young talent, starting pitching is the only area that calls for for some type of addition to the success needed to win! We have a bunch of farm hands that can help trade for that starter that we are in need of! Rios, May, Barns, Wong all or one are great trade bate.

  3. I’m not worried about the pitching nearly as I am about the loss of discipline at the plate by our hitters in crucial spots.

    • Loss? They’ve never had it outside of short bursts. It’s that ADHD Hollywood lifestyle. The coaches are probably exhausted of them and gave up trying by September

  4. Big moves simply aren’t coming. They will tinker around the edges as always with reclamation projects but this team will not make a bold move. There has to be something going on financially as it’s like the McCourt era again with the no spending.. it’s arrogant to assume the NL West is an automatic thing.. if these young pitchers don’t live up to hype and with a declining Kershaw , team could be in Trouble.. where is the big righty bay and the improved bullpen outside of one signing ? 2020 will be the daily lineup changes again and the usual injuries .. how this team as constructed gonna beat yanks? Astros? Nats or even Braves?

    • Pretty much everything else you’ve said is spot on, though the Dodgers would have to take a huge fall to put the division in play. More tinkering around the edges is exactly what I expect from this F.O.

      One thing last season demonstrated is you can’t count on the ability to make a big trade at the mid-season trade deadline to fill a need in order to make a serious playoff run. Now that there are no waiver deals after the trade deadline, if one team has that starting player, starting pitcher, closer or setup man your team really needs, if there aren’t several other players of the same quality available for trade, the team in need must either pay a high price to get that player or stick with what they have. The Dodgers couldn’t improve their bullpen last year and there’s no guarantee they will be able trade for a high quality starter mid-season. First, there might not be any number one or two type pitchers available, but if there are it’s likely there won’t be more than one or two of them. So for the Dodgers it”ll be pay up those top quality prospects or get lost and stick with what you have. Unfortunately for the fans, the Dodgers ownership and F.O. seem to be fine with sticking with second, third or fourth best.

  5. In my mind, we dis not loose a lot with Ryu. You can’t have three soft tossers on a rotation -Hill-CK & Ryu. We kept one, that’s OK. Signing Wood would be a good move. Kauchel is still unsigned. Pederson is a platoon batter not a leadoff. We managed, we have a great lineup. Taylor, Verdugo and Beatty should not loose time for Pederson and Kike. Roberts is infatuated with Joc.

  6. So, while Buehler is deserving if accolades, I do not think that Goslin and May are clise to being at the same level with Buehler. I wirried that, like Urias, the pushing ic May and Goslin might kead to the same errors made in the case od Urias, yes, Urias was impressive as a qo year old throwing with such impressive velocity, but midway through his first season he was in arm injury status. Don’t expect these young arm to avoud fatigue and injury in the short term.

    • I hope you have a bread winner husband because it’s clear your education stopped in elementary

  7. I envision a World Series Championship Team in the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2020. The players are tired of eating and inhaling the dust of other teams. The road to the World Series Title runs through Los Angeles and this year the Dodgers are going to put the smack down on anyone in their way!

    • Lol they’ve been tired for years and it doesn’t matter. Last year they were supposed to be fed up remember? The road to the World Series runs through whoever has the best roster for October not the team that piles up the most wins as we saw last year. I don’t even envision a pennant nor do I want one until they construct the best roster in all of mlb not just their division or league

  8. I’d believe you if Kershaw was as good as Sherzer, Lux was Soto, Urius was as good as Corbin. The only way the Dodgers win in 2020 is if the Braves, Nat’s, Mets,Phillies, Cards all decide to take the year off!

    • #1. You may not have to wait long for Scherzer. He has started to have back problems like Clayton did a few years back. AND now 35. And you have to remember, Strasburg is a year older, Rendon, their best hitter is gone with no replacement that is close. Soto is tough. But the domino effect with losing Rendon may be a problem for Washington. We have Bellinger, Turner, Muncy, etc. returning. And Kershaw was still top 10 ERA and 3.4 WAR. Some of you guys need to look at the Dodgers from 1946 to 1956. “The Boys of Summer”. Tied for NL pennant 46, 51. Lost playoff. 47,49,52,53,55,56. A great run. And yet won ONE World Series. Lets see, Campanella, Robinson, Newcombe, Pee Wee, Preacher Roe, Furillo, Snider, Hodges. Have you heard of those guys? Then the next 10 years WON 3 World Series. Also tied for first in NL 3 times (lost 2, won 1 playoff in same time frame. 1959 WS, Larry Sherry won MVP. He was a 5.8 career WAR. 1955 WS Johnny Podres won MVP. Was 9-10 regular season. Was an All Star 3 times. Decent pitcher not great. So the moral of the story? Getting there! Getting to the playoffs! Anyone can get hot or have a hot stretch. Next time may be ours.

  9. Finishing in the top 10 can be a great thing. For example, If your the 10th most successful real estate agent in the country; congratulations, you are a very successful person and probably quite quite wealthy or on your way to being there. However, having the 10th best starting rotation in MLB means your staff is just better than adequate, and maybe on the edge of being mediocre.

  10. So yeah maybe the hitting will be ok and the young starters will fill in nicely. The pen is going to be terrible with Jansen as closer. His performance was pathetic with 9 blown saves. He will not come back and be anything like hwe was because he has lost velocity. He’s old now and faded, it happens and the Dodgers just might have some good games then be disappointed when he blows a good performance like he did for Buehler and others so many times last season. All good teams have a closer that can get it done we do not.

  11. Why does the person that wrote this article say May will be on inning limit he threw 180 innings between AAA and major leagues. May, Buehler, and Kershaw should be expected to pitch over 200 innings as well as making 30-35 starts

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