In the last few years Los Angeles Dodgers starters Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke have arguably been the best pitching duo in Major League Baseball.
Beyond Kershaw and Greinke however, particularly this season, has been a question mark for the Dodgers. Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy, who were projected to be the third and fourth starters, respectively are both out for the season with arm injuries.
Brett Anderson has stepped up as the team’s third starter and filled in admirably. Bouncing back from several injury-plagued seasons, Anderson hasn’t missed an outing and holds a 3.29 ERA through 14 starts thus far.
Given some of the patchwork the Dodgers have done with their rotation, it comes as no surprise team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman identifies starting pitching depth as a top priority, according to ESPN’s Mark Saxon:
Starting pitching depth is certainly front and center, as it was last offseason, as it will be next offseason,” Friedman said. “It’s something we’re always going to be mindful of, but two guys going down just increases that for us.”
Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias won the fourth and fifth starter jobs by pitching well in spot starts earlier in the season. However, each have had their share of bumps along the way in recent weeks.
As for the Dodgers offense that’s been hot and cold, more cold lately, Friedman isn’t worried, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
As we assess things and look under the hood and dig on things, you’re evaluating the quality of at-bats, the quality of contact, the work ethic, how guys are getting after it,” Friedman said. “All of it suggests our guys are going to get going again and this will be kind of a small blip on the radar.”
The Dodgers scored four runs in a shutout win over the Chicago Cubs Thursday and shockingly, didn’t do so with the long ball. They instead relied on extra-base hits from Howie Kendrick and Kiké Hernandez, and a Jimmy Rollins RBI single.
While it was the second consecutive game in which the Dodgers scored at least four runs, they were quieted from the second inning on in Thursday’s contest. They now travel to Miami to play three games with the Marlins as part of a 10-game road trip.
The Dodgers’ .435 slugging percentage and .331 on-base percentage are both third-best in the Majors. They still lead with a 115 wRC+ and are second behind the Toronto Blue Jays with a .339 wOBA.