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What Qualifies As A Rotation Overhaul?

I wrote:

“I agree with Bums. I can’t wait to see an infield of Kiké, Rosario, and Muncy. I think the Dodgers pitchers may go on strike that day. With that defense, the Dodgers are going to need to score in double figures.”

Scott wrote in response:

“They’re going to need to score in double figures because of the pitching staff anyways. Unless they have a major overhaul by August 1. They’re giving up at least 5 runs every game almost, because of the lackluster pitching.”

Scott is not wrong.  The Dodgers starting rotation has a 4.71 ERA for the year, or 22nd in MLB.  That is uncharted territory for the Boys in Blue. Last year the starters’ ERA was 2.75, or nearly 2 runs better.  For 2023:

  • Clayton Kershaw – 16 GS – 95.1 IP – 2.55 ERA – 3.54 FIP – 1.13 HR/9
  • Tony Gonsolin – 16 GS – 82.2 IP – 4.28 ERA – 4.82 FIP – 1.20 HR/9
  • Julio Urías – 15 GS – 81.1 IP – 4.98 ERA – 4.80 FIP – 1.77 HR/9
  • Michael Grove – 10 GS – 56.2 IP – 6.19 ERA – 4.48 FIP – 1.43 HR/9
  • Bobby Miller – 10 GS – 54.2 IP – 4.28 ERA – 3.63 FIP – 0.82 HR/9
  • Emmet Sheehan – 6 GS – 29.1 IP – 6.75 ERA – 5.19 FIP – 1.23 HR/9

Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) converts a pitcher’s three true outcomes into an earned run average-like number. The formula is (13*HR+3*(HBP+BB)-2*K)/IP, plus a constant (usually around 3.2) to put it on the same scale as earned run average. 

 The theory is that pitchers have minimal (if any) control over the outcomes of balls that are put in play against them, and that the Three True Outcomes – walks, strikeouts, and home runs – are the primary indicators of actual pitching skill.  That theory has been modified to include HBP with BB.

A lot of nerd evaluators favor FIP over ERA in evaluating a pitcher’s production.

No LAD starter is considered a qualified starter for post season awards.  Kershaw is the closest.  He is 6 innings shy.  To be considered qualified, a pitcher needs to accumulate 1.0 IP for each game the team has played (101 games).

It seems fairly clear that Bobby Miller has cleared the prospect standard, and has to be considered a mainstay in the rotation.  In fact, he has a strong argument to be considered as the #2 SP in the rotation.  That is especially true when considering his FIP, indicating that he is pitching in some tough luck at times.  Remarkably, the same is true for Michael Grove.

Once Clayton returns to the rotation, Emmet Sheehan will either go into the bullpen or more probably, to OKC.

Losing Dustin May was a significant loss.  9 GS – 48.0 IP – 2.63 ERA – 3.26 FIP – 0.19 HR/9.

Scott’s second comment “Unless they have a major overhaul by August 1…”  Obviously Scott was referring to the trade deadline.

While on the surface, that sounds appropriate, we need to define major overhaul.  I submit that there might not be a pitcher (much less 2) that are available and could be added to the rotation that would be considered major overhaul.  Lucas Giolito has already been traded to LAA, so he is not a consideration.

  • Jordan Montgomery – 3.37 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 4.13 xERA
  • Jack Flaherty – 4.43 ERA, 4.23 FIP, 4.77 xERA
  • Lance Lynn – 6.47 ERA, 5.22 FIP, 4.84 xERA
  • James Paxton – 3.46 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 3.17 xERA
  • Michael Lorenzen – 3.49 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 4.22 xERA
  • Kyle Hendricks – 3.45 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 3.69 xERA
  • Blake Snell – 2.61 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 3.88 xERA
  • Rich Hill – 4.82 ERA, 4.42 FIP, 5.59 xERA
  • Mike Clevinger – 3.88 ERA, 4.90 FIP, 4.65 xERA
  • Marcus Stroman – 3.51ERA, 3.59 FIP, 3.88 xERA
  • Eduardo Rodriguez – 2.95 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 3.46 xERA

Believing Blake Snell will not be available to the Dodgers, which of the above would be considered a potential overhaul.  These are all rentals, and the cost should not be onerous, but acknowledging what the cost was for Giolito, that may not be a reasonable conclusion.

If the Doctors conclude that Eduardo Rodriguez’s finger injury is healed sufficiently to pitch well enough to match his stats to date (escalated since July), he would certainly qualify in an overhaul, and would be my #1 choice.

Jordan Montgomery, James Paxton, and Marcus Stroman are clear upgrades, but would they qualify as an overhaul?  Probably.

Jack Flaherty, Michael Lorenzen, and Kyle Hendricks are more sketchy, and I am not sure they would be playoff pitchers. Flaherty and Lorenzen (2.2 IP) have limited postseason experience, and none since 2020.  Hendricks does have extensive postseason experience, but is he a better option than the Dodgers currently have.

If AF cannot get any of E-Rod, Stroman, Paxton, or Montgomery, is there any real reason to go to the next level?  To spend the prospect capital for Jack Flaherty?

I do believe the current rotation is good enough to get the team to the postseason.  But are Grove and Sheehan good enough to start in the post season?  Remember they are probably going to be pitching more innings than they have previously pitched in a season.

For the record, Gonsolin and Urías need to improve to be considered a #4 level playoff pitcher.  Gonsolin specifically has been a very poor playoff pitcher.  Urías has been a better multi inning reliever than a starter in the playoffs. He has never pitched more than 5.0 innings in any playoff game.  Based on his current starts, that is not surprising.

I was hoping that the Dodgers could find a new quality playoff pitcher.  How many of the above RENTAL pitchers would you trade one of the rookie starters for?  I would not include Michael Busch or Miguel Vargas or either of the two top catchers in a package for any of them (by themselves).

For this post, I was only considering the remaining rental SP.  AF does not generally trade for pitchers with control at the deadline.  AF had an opportunity last year with Pablo López but could not get it done.  If there are teams that might be willing to trade front line starters for LAD prospects, will AF bite?  That being said, I would not be surprised to see that Paul Blackburn is who the Dodgers end up with as a SP or rentals Mike Clevinger or Rich Hill.

There is no 2017 Yu Darvish, 2017 Justin Verlander, or 2021 Max Scherzer level pitcher available.  So is it worth it to trade top prospects for rental pitchers that do not look to be dominant for the playoffs?

Which of the above identified starters are you willing to trade a current starter and or top prospect (Cartaya, Rushing, Vargas, Busch, Stone, Pepiot) for?




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Pitching wins titles. The years they have gotten it, they have won. Check any of their 7 World Series wins. Same with the playoffs, they get good pitching, they win. Hill would not cost much, and Dodger fans love him. I still like Hendricks. He has post season experience, and he has pitched decently since he came off of the IL.I would also think they should kick the tires on Lorenzen.


Jeff, from the prospects listed above I would keep Rushing and Vargas in addition to Miller. Everyone else is on the table for me. The reason I would keep Vargas is that he could take over at 3B next year for Muncy. I think Mookie should be permanently moved to 2B with Lux at SS for 2024.

The pitchers I would target from your list would be Montgomery, Paxton, Stroman, and Rodriguez.

Beyond these choices I would consider Justin Verlander. The Mets just traded their closer David Robertson to Miami so they appear to be willing to unload some payroll. Verlander has been effective in July. He even pitched into the eighth inning in one game! I know that will never be allowed with the Dodgers. You know, because he’s 40 and all (sarcasm). Plus, they’ll need to keep him fresh for the playoffs (even more sarcasm). The Mets want prospects. We have prospects. AF should try to get them to pay at least half of what’s owed Verlander and use the depth of their system to make that happen. What a trade would look like I don’t know. But, it’s doable and we need someone that can go more than 4-5 innings and has postseason experience. To add him plus one of the pitchers listed above would be huge for the team. It would help save the BP and uplifting to offense.

Right now the Dodgers’ starters are a disaster. The worst in LA Dodger history! And yet they are in first place. I would hate to see them waste their productive offense and improving BP because of the lack of starting pitching. Use the depth of the farm system and try to fix the issue. Can AF and his staff make that happen?

Rich Hill? Come on Bear. Because he would be cheap and the fans love him? The Dodgers need healthy, effective pitching. Not to be entertained like a circus act. First Kiki and then Rich Hill. No thank you.


don’t forget we might bring back Joe Kelly


Kelly could help if he can stay healthy. Big IF.


Mets would need to take Taylor to offset some of Verlanders contract.


Ted, more than one site that deals with the Dodgers have suggested that. He has 7 wins with a poor Pirates team. He has post season experience. Not saying I would do it, but I know there are a lot of people out there who love the guy and would like to see him back.


I understand that Bear. I was just giving you a hard time. With the trade for Lynn maybe R Hill has moved to the top of the Dodgers target list.


Name, Avg, Ops, HR, Age.

Nolan .287, .857, 22, 32, 77 RBI.
Maxy .197, .807, 25, 32, 67 RBI.

Not much of a difference other than the batting average. And Arenado costs a lot more.

Not sure it is worth it to give up top prospects for a marginal improvement. Especially with that contract.


like this.


Wally Bunker, Moe Drabowsky, Dave McNally, and Jim Palmer

Weren’t these pitchers rookies in 1966?


Moe Drabowsky was quite the character. He once famously ordered Chinese food from a restaurant in Hong Kong on the bullpen phone.


Fun Fact:

Trea Turner, Xander Bogarts, Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson, and Francisco Lindor signed for over $1.3billion combined and are collectively hitting .246 with a .733OPS so far in 2023.

Of course, to be fair, Correa signed 3 contracts this past offseason, but only one of them counts.


Bobby, pretty amazing stat. These owners/GM’s never learn. “it will be different this time!” Dodgers have done OK with Betts and Freeman. Bauer was a major screw up. Most everyone who can afford to spend money has made this mistake. The Angel owner never seems to learn. He has spent decades overpaying with huge long term deals for offense and ignore pitching and the farm system.

I find where you include “fair” and “Correa” in the same sentence kind of ironic. I truly can’t stand him and am happy he is having a crap season. Currently he stands at .228 AVG with a .705 OPS. He has hit 12 HR and 45 RBI. All that for a mere $33M and $200,000,000 for the next six years. He is the top ranked defensive SS in baseball though. Who says defense doesn’t pay? Miguel Rojas is #5. Miguel will make $11M total this year and next.


Big contracts are sometimes the ultimate goal.


Go big or stay home.

We are in first place because this team can hack. I wouldn’t touch the offense.

In response to Ted’s “who do we keep”, it’s a good, if short list. I would add at least two pitchers to that list. Who? I don’t know, Knack, Sheehan, Grove, Stone, Nastrini, Frasso…. I’ll leave that to Friedman.

Kelly? Why? I think our bullpen looks pretty good. Even better if we can slip a young starter in there.

As to “go big”? Verlander if he’s available. He’s a big game pitcher and that’s what the Dodgers need. Maybe we could even give him an extra day’s rest now and then to help keep him fresh.

Last edited 10 months ago by Badger

He is enjoying a Tequila Sunrise.


Fun read about “The lost art of fouling balls off”

Dustin Pedroia was amazing at this.


Couldn’t access it, but I sure get it. Lost art. Tony Gwynn was the best I ever saw.

Striking out used to be embarrassing. Even Bonds choked up with two strikes. Different era. In so many ways.


So was Richie Ashburn


I got the sports package put on my Spectrum acct just so I can watch MLB Network. Six bucks a month is not bad, so my internet bill is about 55 a month now. I love watching at the deadline as trades come in. But there might be a lot of action this weekend. So hang on to your hat!

Singing the Blue

Rosenthal reports we’re on the verge of getting Lynn and Kelly. No word as to who is going back the other way. I just hope it’s guys who are Rule 5 eligible.

No way Kelly lasts through October without spending a month on the IL.


Acquiring four players can definitely be seen as aggressive!

Especially for a first division team.

But, I understand you mean aggressive to be more “big game” hunting. I would like to see that too, but it isn’t the only way to define aggressive.


Wrong White Sox pitcher.

I read this morning that Lynn throws mostly fastballs and the Dodgers will get him to throw cutters and a sweeper. Hope it works. He’s given up 17 earned in his last 3 outings. And Kelly? A negative WAR reliever. He isn’t needed.

This can’t be it. There’s a few days left. Stay on the phone Andrew.

Last edited 10 months ago by Badger
Scott Andes

they’re going to need 2 starters. They don’t have to be world beaters, but guys with postseason experiance would be preferred, and can give some innings. You know I like Snell, but I know SD is not going to deal him to the Dodgers. Stroman and Lorenzen would be probably be fine. Montgomery would be great. They’ll need 2 starters to pair with Kershaw and Urias. The rest of the guys can be put in the bullpen as multi-innings guys, or sent to the minors. Miller and Gonsolin can go to the pen. Sheehan probably sent down. You could use Grove in the bullpen too, but I dont know if I would trust him.


We shouldn’t need to be looking at AA for help,

But we are.

If the Dodgers are serious about this year, use one or two of those guys and get a front of the rotation starter. Who is that? The Mets are selling.


It’s a lot of money for a pitcher over 40.

Scott Andes

Afraid of parting with rookie league ball prospects? LOLZ. that’s hilarious

Scott Andes

Correct, Grove could potentially be very good as a bulk innings guy in the bullpen. Would like to see the Dodgers try him there. I think they did a while ago, but can’t remember how far back that was.


Nick Nastrini, Jordan Leasure, and Trayce Thompson headed to Chicago


Nastrini, Trayce and Leasure going the other way.

Nastrini makes it feel a little heavy, but not horribly.

Not a thrilling deal any way you view it.

What’s curious is it does nothing to cure the Rule 5 crunch this off-season as both Leasure and Nastrini weren’t eligible until next year.

Last edited 10 months ago by Bluto

THIS is great! This kinda represents how I feel about the trade. But I guess the Dodgers have a surplus of Nastrini’s.


I don’t know or anticipate or really welcome a trade for Verlander, but they MUST clear 40 man spaces.

Maybe a deal like last year’s Mitch White deal? A 40 man resident for upside lower-level minor leaguer?

Singing the Blue

Don’t know how Lee is rated by the various services, but I do know that I would have much preferred Graveman to Kelly.


Still gotta score 8.


Somebody good said Lee is the best prospect Chicago acquired.

fangraphs has him high too:

Last edited 10 months ago by Bluto

I think it was Keith Law?
Maybe aomeone else

Last edited 10 months ago by Bluto

What a awful trade. Max won’t be the most unathletic looking player on the team anymore. I guess AF wanted to wait to confirm that Lynn really stinks in his recent starts before making this trade. To be outmaneuvered by the Angels for Giolito and settle for Lynn is embarrassing. And why Joe Kelly? Where does he fit in the BP? Another high wire act when he pitches.

Very disappointed right now. No, actually I’m pissed.

I’d like to hear the plan on what AF is planning to do with all these prospects. Only a few will ever play for the Dodgers. Many will be lost to Rule 5. If you’re not going to use the rest in trades then what’s the point. Pile this on top of the crap draft they just completed. I’m confused (among many other things)!

Singing the Blue

Before you totally lose it over AF, Ted, remember there are still 5 days left until the deadline. I suggest you weigh his entire work on Tuesday before drawing any conclusions.

And you’re certainly entitled to view this past draft as crap, but I generally like to wait about 3-4 years before deciding how I feel about any particular year’s draft.

You say that AF was outmaneuvered by the Angels on the Giolito deal. Not sure what your definition of outmaneuvered is. He allowed someone to pay more than he was willing to. Maybe that was a horrible decision, maybe it was smart. Let’s meet back here on the last day of the season to discuss that.

You seem like you’re in a bad mood today. I’m just here to cheer you up. 🙂

I always look forward to your comments here, but can’t remember if getting Arenado and/or Verlander would make you happy or just make you angrier? Please advise.

Have a great afternoon and feel free to let me have a good earful if I’ve annoyed you.

Last edited 10 months ago by Singing the Blue

I appreciate your concern, but it’s all good STB. I like to vent and get it out of my system. I was having a good productive day until the trade went down. Because of his past deadline deals (other than last years) AF typically steps up top the plate. His moves so far do not do anything to help their most glaring weakness which is starting pitching. Lance Lynn? Wishful move IMHO.

I posted earlier today that I thought Verlander should be obtained. Arenado would be fine, but not a gamer changer for this year’s Dodgers. Sure, Max is frustrating, but not to such degree as to move him. Like Badger reminds me, it’s OPS, not AVG that the FO uses to judges their players.

I understand that there’s still plenty of time to make more moves, but where are all the roster / 26 man spots going to come from?

Look, it’s a game. I don’t know shit. All I do is observe the games, remember some history (thanks to Bear), check out stats, and throw in some common sense.

STB, thanks for the feedback. Have a great weekend.
Carry on.


It’s ok to be pissed we traded Nastrini for Lynn. In no same world is that a good trade.

Singing the Blue

Yes, I know, and that surprised me, although we have no idea what potential deals AF has on the fire that may use up guys like Ramos, Frasso, Hurt, Knack, etc.


Outman’s July line: .323.440.500.940

Singing the Blue

I am really delighted (and quite surprised) with:
1) the fact that the Dodgers kept playing Outman, even through his horrendous slump, and
2) that he’s done such a nice job of turning things around.


So true on both points


I hope the current Dodger roster will win the Division again and Miller, Stone, Sheehan, and Grove will during the remaining 60 games evolve and be ready for the Playoffs.

If Taylor and Muncy are going to be packaged in a trade my first choice would be to get Peraza and second would be to get Arenado. It’s a payroll and age thing for me.

Even better would be to flip Peraza, add Busch and Vargas, and start a conversation with KC for Witt Jr.

Singing the Blue

You’re going to be impossible to live with if they actually get rid of CT3 and Max in the same trade.

I think you’ll have to wait until the off season to get Witt Jr. They consider him their future super star. In all seriousness, I wonder what they would ask if AF came knocking? Probably more than the three you mentioned. If you threw in Bobby Miller, you might get a positive response. And just for the record, I’m saying “no, thank you” to that one.


Well, I wanted the Dodgers to acquire Lynn a few years ago. This is kind of like wishing for a train set for Christmas when you are 13 and now you get it when you are 16 and now you want a car.

Singing the Blue

Hang in there. The car is coming. You just haven’t found it under the tree yet.


69 Chevelle SS, please.

Singing the Blue

Tonight’s lineup is out.
Kike in center
Rosario at ss
CT3 in left
Rojas at 2B

I can understand that Doc wants to see his new guys in the lineup against the lefty and wants to give Rojas some reps at 2B.

What I don’t understand is this. He’s sitting Outman and playing Max at 3B.

Outman has reverse splits and is hitting 80 points higher against southpaws this year.
Max is hitting 100 points lower against southpaws this year.
Outman’s bat avg against lefties is .303, Max is .128.
Why not start Outman, sit Max and move CT3 to the infield?

Last edited 10 months ago by Singing the Blue

Makes perfect sense. Doc is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.


Max has pics and Outman doesn’t.


Max does the team dance better than Outman and tonight’s a Friday Night Party


Well, the trade for Lynn and Kelly is not an overhaul. Just an oil change.


We need a tune up. New spark plugs.
And maybe a new driver.

Last edited 10 months ago by OhioDodger
Scott Andes

I’m sorry but Miller and Sheehan are overrated and not the answer to the pitching problems. 5 minutes in and 3 runs down and over 30 pitches thrown.

There better be more trades coming and more arms on the way.


Might have spoken too soon.


100 pitches to go 5. He just works too hard. But he’s learning.

Scott Andes

Hes got potential and nasty stuff. Probably just needs some more adjustments, experience. But Sheehan might need some more time in the minors. Just want to see better pitching.

But how about Rosario? What a great trade. That guy is going to rake in Dodger blue.


Rosario can do the Freddie.

Scott Andes

Jeff, they scored 5 runs on 12 hits. The offense can’t score 10 runs every night. At some point they have to get some length from their starters which means at least going 6 innings preferably 7, and quality starts. Miller has really good stuff but has not pitches into the 7th inning. He’s recorded 4 quality starts out of 10. Being able to not give up runs in the opening frame would help too,, which most of them do.He’s good, but not sure he’s ready for primerime. Do you think they can get to the World Series with this pitching staff?


I strongly doubt there are any answers to their pitching problems this season. I also suspect they will not last long in the playoffs. Our hitters are certainly capable of scoring runs, but there is still dead weight in the lineup with more auditioning taking place at the trade deadline. Rosario looked good in this game on both sides of the ball. If that move was to get a better hitter at ss, why move Rojas to 2B? Betts should be on 2B, Outman in CF, and I still think Miller and Sheehan deserve being in the rotation. Gonsolin and Urias seem to be disintegrating. Will the Dodgers need a major overhaul to the pitching staff next season? Something is definitely wrong with this picture. It is simply un-Dodger-like. And, get rid of Barnes and at least put Muncy on a diet!

Scott Andes

If there are no answers and they won’t last long in the playoffs then there is no reason to make any trades.

Rojas is terrible. Not only Muncy, but Urias needs to be on a diet too.


The glaring reason is the pitching. They need an in-house reality check about injuries and letting go of some of their relievers. You can’t win with this kind of pitching. I don’t see any starters, including Lance, that will make the Dodgers staff better. The two rookies have propped this club up, in the meantime. Perhaps some of the pitching coaches will be shown the door. No need to look outside of the club for help. Addition by subtraction. Next season, they can shop for a star pitcher.

Rojas indeed has been a disappointment with his lack of hitting. This doesn’t follow what he has done in the past, career-wise. It was a gamble that only paid off defensively. Why did they sit Rosario today?

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