During Spring Training, the perception was the Los Angeles Dodgers had a surplus of starting pitchers. With the Dodgers now in the latter stages of the 2014 season, they’re struggling to find enough healthy arms.
Josh Beckett is back on the disabled list with a torn labrum in his hip and may not return, Paul Maholm tore his ACL and is out for the season and Hyun-Jin Ryu may be the next pitcher to land on the DL.
While the Dodgers didn’t acquire any of the frontline starters they were rumored to be interested in, they did add two arms in the form of Kevin Correia and Roberto Hernandez. Assuming Ryu is able to avoid the DL, the Dodgers would have six starting pitchers.
Although it’s unconventional, the team could technically go to a six-man starting rotation. However, that’s not a change manager Don Mattingly is in favor of, according to the OC Register’s Bill Plunkett:
A six-man rotation means a six-man (bull)pen,” he said. “So you’re really leaving yourself short on a daily basis, I think. The only way you could do something like that, to me, is maybe in the American League. You could probably get by, depending on your team.
Correia’s first appearance with the Dodgers was as a starter in a move that afforded the normal rotation with an extra day of rest. Mattingly said after the start Correia would be placed in a bullpen that’s without Chris Perez, who was placed on the DL with bone spurs in his ankle.
Led by the trio of Ryu, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, Dodger starters have a collective 3.16 ERA entering Thursday, which is best in the Majors. Not quite as formidable, the bullpen holds a 3.62 ERA and that ranks 20th in MLB.
If Mattingly goes ahead as planned, the bullpen will add Correia, who has yet to appear out of the bullpen this season. Correia’s last relief appearance came in 2012 when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
However, before that can take place, the Dodgers need to avoid losing another starting pitcher to injury.
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