Culver City Observer -

Do Dodgers Have Enough Pitching To Make A Championship Bid?

Sports Editor


This was the question I asked last season. The answer was both yes and no. They lacked the elite starting pitching I thought was required. They fooled me by riding into the playoffs triggered by surprisingly good hitting. But they lost the showdown with the Cubs that could have put them into the World Series when they started two rookie pitchers in games 4 and 5 against two experienced opponents and lost both games.

I wondered why the dodgers hadn’t bid for elite free agent starting pitchers in the previous off season. Now I’m bringing up the topic again. As I write this column Clayton Kershaw has absorbed the loss in last night’s game against the Giants. Kershaw is wonderful and he’s allowed to lose occasionally, but the point is the dodgers don’t appear to have another elite starting pitcher in their rotation. Johnny Cueto? As a free agent before last season he signed with the Giants. Zack Greinke? He left the dodgers as a free agent prior to last season and the dodgers didn’t match the Arizona Diamondbacks’ offer Chris Sale? Red Sox. Cole Hamels? Rangers Chris Archer? Only the rumors. There are others.

The interesting part of this discussion is that the dodgers weren’t outbid in these cases. Instead, they appear to have adopted a strategy of staying out of bidding for other teams’ pitchers. Instead they’ve decided to develop their young pitchers and await the day when these kids will turn into big league stars. But Huin Jin Ryu and Julio Urias have gone on the disabled list, joined by Rich Hill. Kenta Maeda’s progress has been gradual and Jose De Leon has been traded. There’s a long way to go in the season and the dodgers might make a strong bid like they did last year. But this is living dangerously. When I see Jon Lester and others like him opposing the dodgers in playoff games I get concerned. There are seven former general managers in the Dodgers’ front office. They know a lot more than I do. But I still wonder if they’ve adopted the right strategy


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