Going into the 2015 season the Los Angeles Dodgers looked to have one of the best starting rotations in baseball, with aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke at the top, followed by Hyun-Jin Ryu and offseason acquisitions Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson.
That didn’t turn out to be the case as Ryu was not even able to make one start and McCarthy tore his UCL in just his fourth start of the season after going 3-0 in his first three. Multiple pitchers were auditioned as potential replacements in the rotation before the Dodgers front office and manager Don Mattingly settled on Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias in mid-May.
Mattingly recently addressed the Dodgers going through multiple starters and defended the perception of his rotation, via Brian Heyman of ESPN:
Early on, a lot of those guys, we were doing it by design,” Mattingly said. “We were kind of using that spot to keep an extra bullpen guy or an extra player, so it wasn’t that bad. You say the ‘Big Two,’ but Brett Anderson has been pitching good really pretty much every time out. So it’s been a solid group of three. Bolsinger and Frias, other than not going real deep into games, have really, for the most part, pitched pretty good and have, for the most part, kept us in games. I know it may seem like on paper that it’s been all over the place, but it hasn’t been as bad as it looks.”
Bolsinger has perhaps been the biggest surprise this season. The righty that the Dodgers acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for cash considerations during the offseason is 5-3 with a 2.79 ERA in 15 starts. He had made just nine career big league starts prior to 2015.
Although he is currently on the disabled list with a back injury, Frias has been a serviceable back-of-the-end rotation starter. He is 5-5 with a 4.39 ERA in 12 starts, but has given up three earned runs or less in nine of those starts.
It is very well likely the Dodgers will acquire another starter before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Despite the assortment of injuries, the Dodgers rotation has maintained a 3.15 ERA, third best in all of baseball.