Andrew Friedman will be making his debut for the Dodgers on the trade deadline. Photo by Marco Jose Sanchez / AP
There will now be a decreaser. Let the beginners stop trying to start something. Enough jarring resumptions.
The last four innings have begun, so that’s it. Already, I’ve gotten to the point where I need to end my 5-run streak. At some point, people give up hope.
The Dodgers have only played almost half of their games, but the word of the team speaks volumes about their starting pitching.
It’s time to stop using a glue stick and some paper clips to patch up a broken, inefficient rotation.
No more waiting to spend some dough on Shohei Ohtani during the summer.
If they want to win, they have to make sacrifices like losing potential clients and paying off debt so they can acquire a top-tier starting pitcher in a deal.
If they want any chance of advancing past the first two games of a potential three-game wild-card playoff series, they need to find a quarterback who can handle the ball.
They need another performer to get the crowd going before games, like when Mexican singing singer Peso Pluma threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Find Out More: The Dodgers beat the Pirates by a score of 6-4 behind a great performance from Bobby Miller.
You get it.
Does the front office of the Dodgers?
That’s the main worry.
Last year they ran into this problem for the first time in the Andrew Friedman era and gave up on trying to acquire any significant pitching. The current postseason journey ended after only four games.
Based on recent trade-deadline acquisitions like Rich Hill, Yu Darvish, and Max Scherzer, Friedman still has the benefit of the doubt. That benefit is dwindling.
The outside pressure and internal expectations are becoming a boring holler against the backdrop of Ohtani’s approaching entirely free company and amid the rumour that management is becoming resigned to treating this as a restorative season.
Done talking about ruined starting pitchers.
You should find someone who can fix it.
I asked manager Dave Roberts before Wednesday’s 6-4 victory over the Pirates if this rotation was the worst he’d seen in his eight seasons here.
As for his statement, “Ummm… it depends upon what you specify as bad,” he replied, “maybe.”
He volunteered for it.
Learn More Dustin May’s elbow surgery will end his season, increasing the Dodgers’ need for a replacement in the rotation.
According to data compiled by Eric Stephen of True Blue LA since May 17, the Dodgers rookies ranked 26th out of 30 teams with an average of 4.7 innings pitched per start heading into Wednesday. During that same span, their 5.43 ERA placed them 29th overall. It’s no coincidence that their record since then has been 20-22.
The Dodgers have only seen four streaks of four consecutive games in which their starting pitcher lasted less than four innings once they moved to Los Angeles 65 years ago. There have already been two of these this year.
You think that’s bad enough?
Roberts admitted that they had been keeping an eye out for new recruits.
In his opinion, starting pitchers are always in demand. And are we scouting about and testing the waters? Definitely. Talk about the current state of the depth chart, including the men we’ve “gone through” and those who may or may not return. To answer your question, yes, I do think that is always useful.
Don’t even bother kicking the tyres, would ya? Why not just buy the car already?
Roberts nodded when asked if he was confident the front office will make the necessary improvements.
“I do. As he put it, “I am. If you look at our team’s past results, I think you’ll agree with me. We have done a fantastic job of shoring up any needs, gaps, flaws, weak points, etc., that have arisen.
Well, there are a lot of cracks to fix.
Take a look at Clayton Kershaw first. His season has been an inspiration; nobody saw him coming as the top player on the team’s oldest lineup. He’ll be 35 in October, and there’s no guarantee that he’ll be healthy enough to channel his historic power then.
Learn More Dodger Stadium’s Spot Shoulder pain has put Clayton Kershaw on the injured list.
Consider Julio Uras. He struggled upon his return from a hamstring injury, and who knows what he’s going through mentally as he approaches freedom and independence in the form of his own business. I’m sure he’s top-notch. Before he leaves town, no one knows if he will ever become an ace, and it’s unlikely that he will.
This is the section in which glowing praise for the third starter would normally appear, but alas, it does not.
Dustin May was the obvious choice. The Dodgers just announced he’s having elbow surgery and is done for the year.
Tony Gonsolin was supposed to be that guy, but he hasn’t been the same since he more than doubled his career work to 130 and a third innings last year.
It could have been Noah Syndergaard, but he’s been terrible and it seems unlikely that even a large number of minors rehab starts can change that.
It’s probably Bobby Miller, who started out strong but has struggled of late. On Wednesday, for example, he was booed before the game had even started, having given up a first-inning crowning achievement to Bryan Reynolds and ultimately allowing 4 runs in 5 2/3 innings. He won, and he’s fantastic in July; can the hard-throwing kid be fantastic in October?
Fourth and fifth grade newbies? Are you kidding me? A steady stream of greenhorns who experienced familiar growing pains have taken up residence in those seats.
Michael Grove is competent but eco-friendly. Maybe Emmet Sheehan is great, but he doesn’t belong here. Unprepared: Gavin Stone. Oblique strain for Ryan Pepiot.
If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’re probably wondering, “OK smart person, who is out there?” Who could the Dodgers potentially acquire this offseason?
With the trade deadline not until August 1, still over three weeks away, the calendar can drastically change depending on a team’s rankings. Making a list of potential customers is pointless because it will appear ridiculous in the end.
Sure, why not. Only one name stands out. Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians, a potential Cy Young Award winner in 2020 thanks to his brilliant postseason performance in 2015, is currently the American League’s ERA leader after 18 starts. He’s going for the ball. He’s a good pitcher in the big games. Well, he does call Laguna Hills home.
The front office of the Dodgers must look in every possible direction, and it must look long and hard.
Put a stop to the starting madness.
It’s enough already.
Join Dodgers Dugout for additional information about the team. Available at the beginning of each season.
The Los Angeles Times was the first to publish this story.