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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Expects Club to Add to Pitching Staff This Winter

The Dodgers biggest need right now is on their pitching staff. If they were to make just one move for the entire offseason, I would hope it’s for a starting pitcher. As of right now, they have a huge hole in the rotation, and need to find a way to fill it by Opening Day.

Julio Urias is going to be the ace — and he’s as trustworthy as they come. But behind him is a ton of question marks. Clayton Kershaw is going to be back, but at 34-years-old and with over 2,500 innings on his arm, he’s not going to pitch a full season.



Then there’s Tony Gonsolin, who was looking like a Cy Young candidate for most of last season, until he ran out of gas, and found himself on the IL, unable to get back into form by the NLDS.

And finally, there’s Dustin May, who at times looked like the best pitcher in baseball last season, and at other times looked like a shell of his pre-Tommy John self.

After those four, there’s no one. If Opening Day were tomorrow, the Dodgers’ fifth starter would be either Ryan Pepiot or Michael Grove, unless they plan on working Shelby Miller back up to be a starting pitcher. So at this point in the offseason, the Dodgers need to sign at least one starter, or maybe even two. Dave Roberts confirmed the team will look to add depth to the rotation this offseason.

“Yes. And there’s some certain guys that are off the board, obviously. But we’re still looking and have a long way to go.”

He’s, of course, referring to Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom being off the board, but there is still a ton of starter talent on the market.

The Dodgers could still pursue Carlos Rodon, who seems to be the best current starter on the market. They could also look at Japanese star Kodai Senga, who’s generated a ton of interest after his 1.89 ERA in Japan last season.

If they didn’t pursue one of these top pitchers, they could then look at the next level of starter talent, and maybe get someone I’ve been talking about for a while in RHP Noah Syndergaard. We know the Dodgers like to sign pitchers on cheaper deals and turn them into stars — they did it last year with Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney — and the former All-Star seems like a perfect candidate to enter the Mark Prior school of pitching and come back out an All-Star.

One final option could be a familiar face in former Dodger Ross Stripling. The Dodgers traded him away when they had an influx of starting pitching, but they’re in quite the opposite situation now. Stripling has the ability to start and come on in relief, which would be a perfect fit on this team looking for guys who can throw a ton of innings next season in any capacity.

Anderson led the Dodgers in innings pitched last year with 178.2, and he’s now off the team. That’s a lot of innings the team needs to fill, and there’s no way they give them all to a bunch of young guys. I expect them to be very active in the starting pitcher market over the next few months.

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