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Bullish On LAD Starting Pitching Depth

The 2022 season has come to an end, and we Dodgers fans are going to have a while before we forget the ending.  The 2023 season cannot come soon enough to help salve the wounds of 2022.  But as soon as ST begin, the sooner we can begin to look forward to 2023.

The first LAD spring training game will be Saturday, February 25 against Milwaukee.  We still do not know the final makeup of the projected position players for the LAD 26 man roster.  Will the team go all in with the youth movement, or will they make a trade to get a SS or CF?  I have remained consistent that I believe that AF/BG have gone all in on giving Gavin Lux his full runway to prove he is a ML SS (or not).

My biggest concern is not Lux, but Max Muncy (or Michael Busch) at 2B, and Miguel Vargas at 3B.  Like Lux, Vargas is going to get a full runway to prove he is more than a DH (or not).

CF (or LF) is still up in the air.  As projected, Trayce Thompson looks to be the CF and James Outman the LF, or vice versa.  Is CT3 going to be the platoon partner with Outman?  Is Jason Heyward going to be the platoon partner for Thompson.  Or Steven Duggar?  Or Bradley Zimmer?  Heyward is already working out a Dodger Stadium and has been issued a number. He figures to be one of the 26.

While the position players seem to be in flux, the pitching seems to be more set.

  • Julio Urias (L)
  • Clayton Kershaw (L)
  • Tony Gonsolin (R)
  • Dustin May (R)
  • Noah Syndergaard (R)


  • Ryan Pepiot (R)
  • Bobby Miller (R)
  • Gavin Stone (R)
  • Michael Grove (R)
  • Andre Jackson (R)

Sure it is easy to speculate that Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, and Dustin May cannot make it through the season without visiting the IL. The odds are better than not that all three will visit the IL at least once.  If the Dodgers need another SP at the deadline, I do believe they will go out and get one, regardless of where they are in relation to the CBT threshold. I truly believe that AF/BG believe the offense will still score runs, so the key to the playoffs will be the strength of the pitching…principally starting pitching.

Let’s review the starting pitching for the other NL contenders:

NY Mets

  • Justin Verlander (R)
  • Max Scherzer (R)
  • Kodai Senga (R)
  • Carlos Carrasco (R)
  • José Quintana (L)

Scherzer’s IP has gone from 179.1 (2019), to 67.1 (2020), 179.1 )2021), and 145.1 (2022).  He could not answer the bell in the 2021 playoffs, and his IP regressed due to injury in 2022.  You are concerned about Kershaw, but not Scherzer?  Nobody knows anything about Senga, but neither Carrasco nor Quintana put the fear into the hitter.  Good?  Certainly, but not elite.

NYM’s depth is Tyler Megill (R), Joey Lucchesi (L), and Jose Butto (R).  I like LAD’s depth more than NYM’s


San Diego Padres

  • Yu Darvish (R)
  • Joe Musgrove (R)
  • Blake Snell (L)
  • Nick Martinez (R)
  • Seth Lugo (R)

I do not need to determine who the Padres depth is, as their #4 and #5 pitcher are nothing more than depth themselves.  Although, their top 3 are formidable.


Atlanta Braves

  • Max Fried (L)
  • Kyle Wright (R)
  • Charlie Morton (R)
  • Spencer Strider (R)
  • Mike Soroka (R)
  • Ian Anderson (R)
  • Bryce Elder (R)
  • Kolby Allard (L)



St. Louis Cardinals

  • Adam Wainwright (R)
  • Miles Mikolas (R)
  • Jordan Montgomery (L)
  • Jack Flaherty (R)
  • Steven Matz (L)
  • Matthew Liberatore (L)
  • Zack Thompson (L)


Philadelphia Phillies

  • Aaron Nola (R)
  • Zack Wheeler (R)
  • Taijuan Walker (R)
  • Ranger Suarez (L)
  • Bailey Falter (L)


Milwaukee Brewers

  • Corbin Burnes
  • Brandon Woodruff
  • Freddy Peralta
  • Eric Lauer
  • Wade Miley

Wade Miley is the depth, but their first four seem to be the toughest rotation the Dodgers would face.


San Francisco Giants

  • Logan Webb
  • Alex Cobb
  • Sean Manaea
  • Ross Stripling
  • Alex Wood

The Dodgers had no problem with Manaea, and with Alex Cobb as the #2, I do not think the Giants rotation will be a huge deterrent.  I do think the Giants will be calling on LHSP prospect Kyle Harrison at some point in the season.  Jakob Junis and Sean Hjelle will also get calls.

Outside of possibly Milwaukee, I do not believe there is a better rotation than the Dodgers.  And I think that while the Brewers may challenge the Dodgers, I do not believe they are better.

With Mookie, Freddie, Will Smith, Gavin Lux, JDM, and a fully rehabbed Max Muncy (and CT3) would provide enough offense to make up for any potential shortfalls from Miguel Vargas, James Outman, and Trayce Thompson.  The Dodgers scored more runs than any other team in 2022 without any meaningful production from Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, or CT3 (or Joey Gallo).  What if Trayce Thompson mirrors his 2022 production, and either Miguel Vargas and James Outman actually produce positive offense?

While the 2023 team is not even remotely built to reach 111 wins, I can certainly understand why BetMGM has made LAD co-favorites with NYM to win the NL Pennant.

I still believe there will be changes.  Will it be Bryan Reynolds, Dylan Carlson, Jarred Kelenic, Willie Adames, Amed Rosario, Royce Lewis, Jordan Westburg…?  There is still 2 ½ months before the beginning of the regular season and 6 weeks before Game 1 of the 2023 ST.




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Great analysis Jeff. I think the Mets have two potential injury problems with Scherzer and Verlander, either one of those guys go down and they are in big trouble. Bobby Miller and Vargas have gotten some mention as possible RIY candidates. Should be an interesting spring. I do not think Muncy brings a lot of range to second base, but he does feel it is his best spot on the field. Brandon Belt signs a one-year deal with Toronto.

Sam Oyed

The interesting thing about the Mets is they haven’t done much to improve upon last years team. Granted they had a good year but nothing was done to improve the team. Hence, the Correa signing and that may get blown up soon.


He is signing a new deal with the Twins


I was just looking at the OKC preliminary roster. Some guys on there I never have heard of including two pitchers who are 6’6″ or taller.


In response to Bum’s post about our starter’s IP, I got May at 20 starts 100 innings. The rest of those guesses I’m ok with but would take the lower numbers. Urias is the only guy from whom I wouldn’t be surprised to see 180 innings.

I have no clue what competitors starting pitching will manage. My guess would be every organization knows pitchers today just don’t throw as many innings as they usta did. Most will likely use modified 6 man rotations.

Our staff is loaded with impressive names, but honestly what would they project in a 5 man rotation? They wouldn’t, because it won’t be a 5 man rotation. As Jeff suggests, we are going to see a lot of those last 5 names, we are going to see Opener games and I won’t be the least bit surprised to see pitchers come and go all year.

It’s going to be a year like none other we’ve seen lately. Is it possible we could be sellers at the deadline? Of course it’s possible. Not likely, but, who knows how this will go.


The Dodgers’ anticipated starting 5 will be good to very good. They will need contributions from several of the kids. I also think that the bullpen looks solid. CF, LF, 2B, 3B and SS are all questions marks.

I do think that the Braves have very good starting pitching – much better than LA’s at this point. I think that you have perhaps underestimated them.


Man am I glad to see you here Rick.

I think you’re right about our starting pitching, but I would add the word potentially. 5 position question marks will make it interesting for me.

I believe I had it Mets, Padres, Braves, Dodgers. Correa going back to Minnesota will probably change that for me. A huge Mets addition just became a huge subtraction.


I’m fine with the rotation. I would like to take a chance on Kelenic. He has been a top prospect that looked bad during call up with the Mariners. Now that Belt is off the board, maybe there is a trade scenario with Seattle who needs a lefty bat who can play 1st/DH.

Muncy for Kelenic with Friedman figuring out others that would be involved.

Singing the Blue

Welcome back to Minnesota, Carlos Correa.
Six years/$200 MM with vesting options that could take it to $270MM
No opt outs.
The deal is pending a physical.   😊 


It’s time for them to ease toward a rebuild. Taylor, Muncy, Vargas, Busch, and ? for Devers.


They are included to swap payroll cost with Muncy only a one year cost and allow Boston to not sink to the bottom this year and maybe next. Vargas and Busch help with the rebuild. Might they want another prospect? I can’t answer that.


Devers is most likely going to soon be a DH given his weak fielding.

Bluto ‘ Pipeline conducted a poll.

Some highlights:
It ranked Dodgers #2 in farm systems (21% of vote)
#1 in drafting
Tied for #1 in int’l signings

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