When the year started, the biggest question for the Dodgers was how their starting rotation was going to shape out. They had at least 7 guys that could take on the role of starter, and that was before adding in Trevor Bauer.
Fast forward to today, and the Dodgers starting rotation looks a little different than anticipated. Dustin May went down for the year with Tommy John surgery and Tony Gonsolin has made just 4 starts due to a lingering shoulder issue.
Julio Urías was locked in as the number 4 guy in the rotation to start the year, but he’s closing in on 100 innings of work. For a guy that has dealt with serious arm injuries in the past, you would expect the Dodgers to play it safe with Julio.
Then you have Walker Buehler who will pass 100 innings in his next start. The Dodgers hurler has shown in the past that he can get up near 185 innings, but he’s on pace to pass that by a wide margin in 2021. Add in the fact that Clayton Kershaw hasn’t been phenomenal in his age 33 season, and you have an issue.
Despite the glaring need for a starter down the stretch, the Dodgers still do not have a plan to stretch out any long relievers. The prime candidates would be former starters like Jimmy Nelson and David Price. But on Friday afternoon, Dave Roberts once again said that was not in the plan.
The Dodgers’ need for a starter probably would not come until after the All-Star break. But ideally, they would need to at least keep Walker’s innings down since he will be the main postseason starter. The writing is on the wall for Julio to transition back to the bullpen come October.
That sort of hints at the possibility that the Dodgers are looking at the trade market to bolster their starting rotation. Adding in a mid-rotation guy at the deadline would give them the innings they need to get their main pieces into the playoffs fresh.
Will it happen? Only time will tell.