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What We Know and What We May Not Know

This year’s LAD team is not a 111 win team when we knew who would be on the roster (or at least 25 of the 26 man roster).  This is not the 2017 team where everyone knew their role.  As of the publication of this post there are 24 games remaining, and this is a team with a lot of unknowns.

What we do know is:

  1. Julio Urías will not be pitching in the playoffs.
  1. Clayton Kershaw is fighting with a barking shoulder. What Dave Roberts had to add.

“The stuff might be down. It’s where he’s at right now, physically. But willing and wanting to take the baseball is huge.  He’s going to keep going until he can’t.” 

“He’s going to keep going. He’s going to keep going until he can’t. If he is able to take the baseball, he’s going to take the baseball. This has nothing to do with where the rotation’s at, who’s available, who’s not. It’s about Clayton taking the baseball for us and us managing each game he throws.”

  1. Bobby Miller is showing he is a legit playoff starting pitcher.
  1. Lance Lynn gives up too many HRs.
  1. The Dodgers now have three rookies in the rotation: Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Emmet Sheehan.

 

What we may not know:

  1. Is there an answer to the number of HRs Lynn gives up? Is he someone the Dodgers trust to put in the rotation in the playoffs?
  1. Is Bobby Miller ready for the playoffs spotlight? Not a contradiction to #3 above.  He has the ability to start in the playoffs, but will the environment be too much for him?  Especially as emotional as he can get?
  1. Is Ryan Pepiot ready for the playoffs spotlight?
  1. Is Emmet Sheehan or Gavin Stone or Michael Grove?
  1. Can Ran Yarbrough be considered a potential playoff starter?
  1. Will this be the last hurrah for Clayton Kershaw? As a Dodger? As a MLB pitcher?
  1. Will the Dodgers hit WRISP in the playoffs?
  1. Is there anyway that Walker Buehler will be ready to pitch for the playoffs?
  1. Is there a worse umpire than Angel Hernandez in organized baseball?

 

One other thing we know.  If there is any way at all that Clayton Kershaw can pitch, he will take the ball.  He will not go to Doc the day of a Game 6 start and tell him he cannot pitch that day, ala Max Scherzer.

We also know that if the Dodgers leave it up to Walker Buehler, he will do whatever he can to start a game.  I am not in favor of this, but I am not Walker Buehler or Dodger management.

I am giving a pass to Ryan Yarbrough in the Tuesday Fish game.  He and his wife are expecting their 2nd child.  He was anticipated to go on paternity leave on Tuesday, but it was still not time, so he stayed on the roster and pitched.  It was not his best outing, but I do not believe his head was in the game.  It was easily his worst game as a LAD.

If Kersh cannot go, do we see a Gavin Stone/Emmet Sheehan piggyback as a Game 4 starter.  That would be:

  1. Bobby Miller
  2. Ryan Pepiot
  3. Lance Lynn
  4. Gavin Stone/Emmet Sheehan

Wild card?  Walker Buehler instead of Stone or Sheehan.  Instead of Lynn?

Does Ryan Yarbrough move into the rotation?

Is that a championship rotation?  On paper, NO.  But the game is not played on paper or in a simulated computer game.  There is something different about this Dodgers’ team.  With the injuries they have been dealt with, there is no way they should be running away with the NL West…again.  And yet they have the 2nd best record in the NL and 3rd best in MLB.  They are not as talented, but their will to win is somewhat reminiscent of the 2017 team. Can they keep it up?  Let’s not forget.  From August 26 through September 11,2017, the Dodgers lost 16 of 17 games, including 11 in a row.  Let’s also remember that the the Dodgers were 24-5 in August before this current dismal run.

They will not be favored, but they can beat Atlanta in a short series.  Before we announce the demise of this team, can we at least wait until they play the games before we proceed with the autopsy?  The 2018 rotation of Kershaw, Ryu, Hill, Buehler was not special that year.  Ryu was injured most of the year and Kershaw much of it.  Hill was getting older and Buehler a rookie.  And yet they beat a better Milwaukee Brewers team to get to the WS. The Brewers Jhoulys Chacin and Wade Miley were the best pitchers in the NLCS.

This was supposed to be a transition year for the Dodgers. They did not expect to get as much ML exposure for their rookie pitchers, and yet they did.  While it did not come without knocks, all showed they can be ML pitchers.  How valuable will playoff experience be for the rookies who are expected to break with LAD in 2024?  Right now, the rookies might be the best rotation the Dodgers can put together.

With somewhat of a snowball effect, how invaluable are the promotions to AAA for:?

  • Nick Frasso
  • Alec Gamboa
  • Kyle Hurt
  • Landon Knack

There were not many (if any) front line starters available this past winter.  There probably will not be many (any) this winter.  So the future of the Dodgers is going to depend a lot with the progression of the rookies this year, and those that will be following.

We will get more into what players should LAD target next year at a later time, but one name I will be following will be Sonny Gray.  Can he play in large city, or would he tank in LA as he did in NY?

 

 

More Questions:

Because of the state of their starting pitching, will AF/BG/Doc choose multiple multi-inning pitchers for the playoff rosters?  Regardless if they are on the roster, they will all be on the taxi squad…just in case.  Per the MLB rules: Teams carry extra players throughout the postseason in the event of injuries, and those players, as well as players on the injured list, can be in the dugout during games, within reason.

Another rule is that if a player is removed from the roster due to an injury, they cannot return to the roster for that round or the subsequent round.

Which single inning relievers will be playoff relievers?  It is looking like none of Blake Treinen, Daniel Hudson, or Yency Almonte will be ready to pitch in the playoffs. Joe Kelly is a question today, but is due to go on a rehab assignment this week

If Yarbrough is going to be a reliever, will LAD dare to carry 4 LHRP?

  • Ryan Yarbrough
  • Caleb Ferguson
  • Alex Vesia (on the cusp)
  • Victor González (very doubtful)

Who are the RHRP who will be considered?

  • Evan Phillips
  • Ryan Brasier
  • Brusdar Graterol
  • Shelby Miller
  • Joe Kelly (ready for rehab)
  • Gus Varland (very doubtful)
  • Michael Grove

There is still too much time left in the season to predict playoff rosters for relief pitching.  Plus which starting pitchers will be injury free enough to pitch?  Or good enough to pitch?

One other question.  Playoff shares are divided by the players.  Regardless of the size of the LAD bonus pool, will the players vote Julio Urías a share?  A full share?

 

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Singing the Blue

Is there a worse umpire than Angel Hernandez? CB Bucknor comes pretty close.

Sonny Gray? I don’t think you can compare L.A. and N.Y. with regard to how the fans and press treat players. We know that Gray didn’t handle NY well, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t handle LA.

Yes, our offense is a mess now but, as you point out, we’ve had streaks like this before in September and they haven’t affected the playoffs. Better now than in October.

Yamamoto, Gray, Nola, Snell – and now we can add lefty pitcher Shota Imanaga from Japan, who’ll be posted this winter. Older and not quite as good as Yamamoto, but maybe the equal of some of the other better free agent pitchers AF will have to choose from.

Badger

“Is there a worse umpire than Angel Hernandez? CB Bucknor comes pretty close.”

Both have been at the top of the list for a long time. But I’ve never seen it worse than it is now.

We need to streak offensively starting relatively soon.

We will acquire pitching this off season. I have no idea who.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Oldbear48

Bucknor and Hernandez are definitely at the top of these guys suck list. I am of a mind they are going to lean heavily on the kids next season. And Knack might be one of them.

Bluto

Interesting question! Last year, I looked it up and L.A.’s bonus pool was split among 82 people, more than any other team. The Rays issued 79 playoff shares, and no other team had more than 72.

I kinda figure that ups the odds that Bauer got a share last year. If so, I can’t imagine the team will forgo Urias this year.

Scott Andes

Can Urias still receive a postseason share while on administrative leave?

Oldbear48

He gets paid while on admin leave, if he gets voted a share, I do not see a reason why he wouldn’t. If it turns into a suspension without pay, then I do not think he would. This isn’t going to be settled by Christmas. It will drag into next year if the DA decides to bring charges.

Badger

I admire your ability to break things down and explain them coherently. I’ll probably forget it by this afternoon, but, fortunately there won’t be a test.

Dionysus

Sign a bunch of Asian dudes this offseason, especially Japanese pitchers.

Oldbear48

No clue what they are going to do or who they target. But there will be plenty of choices.

Badger

What I think I know I have said all season, our starting pitching ain’t all that. Hasn’t been all year, that’s why that group is ranked 19th on fangraphs. Our bullpen however is ranked 3rd. That makes it easy for me – use them.

Obviously our rookie starters will have to be a part of the plan. Openers for the top of the lineup, rookie starters and Lynn as piggyback pitchers, bullpen as finishers. We have Miller and Kershaw that can start if the team wants to do it. Neither go more than 5, maybe even 4 with an Opener.

There is still time to get the staff prepped for the short series playoff run. Clearly this plan includes the offense scoring like they know they can do.

This plan can work.

Bumsrap

We have gone back and forth regarding pitching vs hitting Badger. I’ve always wanted youthful hitters and defenders. I have confidence in our our young pitching.

Badger

With the obvious exception of third base, I think we are better defensively. Pitching is our Achilles heel. Confidence? Not really. Hopeful? Absolutely.

Sam Oyed

Given thus team has outperformed expectations, I would have the Dodgers rookie pitchers start in the playoffs. The experience would be invaluable whether they pitch good or bad. Rather they get the experience now rather than wait a year.

Oldbear48

Great point Sam. I agree. Get the kids the experience under the gun. Koufax learned on a team that was expected to win. And when there was only one winner. Having tiered playoffs gives them more room to grow. I think Miller has ace stuff. Now all he needs is experience. Bellinger hit another homer yesterday.

Bluto

The club has to at least gauge how the veterans would feel about such an “all-in” move

SandyIsTheGreatest

theres no alternative

Bluto

Not sure I understand what there is no alternative to.

But if you are using those words to agree with me, AMEN!

tedraymond

I , too, think they should let the young pitchers get as much exposure to the postseason as possible.

In the offseason I was all in on letting the youth movement to begin in 2023. It was time to see if this highly rated farm system was the real deal. With all the injuries that have happened to the pitching staff the number of prospects exposed to the MLB was far more than we could have hoped. Plus, some position players have had an opportunity too. I was willing to accept that the team may not make the playoffs if they took this approach. Well, their play has been outstanding. I have really enjoyed their offensive output. The rookies have had the expected ups and downs, but overall they have been successful. It’s helped define their future as to whether they will be a starter or reliever. So, to have an entertaining offense, bring up several pitching prospects, and to dominate and win another division title there is really little to be disappointed about. To have success in the playoffs, using many of these young pitchers and position players, would be beyond my expectations. Let’s do it!!

Carry on.

Last edited 5 months ago by tedraymond
SandyIsTheGreatest

Realistically, without Kershaw things are looking pretty bleak:

Miller is now about #1 on the depth chart.
Lynn, unbelievably, might have fallen to #3 behind Pepiot.
Yarbrough is best in relief.
Maybe Buehler could grab the #4 spot, but Sheehan is there now.
It’s just too thin and too stretched to hold serve.

UNLESS, Mookie & Freeman go scorched earth in the postseason.

SandyIsTheGreatest

Did we ever find out what happened to Knack?

Bumsrap

The exception of course is Bobby Witt Jr. — And one of these days I am going to get him.

SandyIsTheGreatest

I completely forgot about Stone. Can you imagine if he went on a run toward the end of the season?

Bobby

it’s gona take one or two of these kids to go on a run at the end of the season!

Dionysus

Giddy up

Singing the Blue

I wonder how Bobby Miller enjoyed his 1-week reign as staff ace?

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