Right at this moment, the Dodgers have four pretty sure things for their 2023 starting rotation: Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, and Dustin May. After that, they have plenty of options, but nothing set in stone.
Ryan Pepiot, Michael Grove, and Andre Jackson are all starters who got some big-league action last year, so any of them could easily slot in as the fifth starter if necessary. Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone are two highly touted prospects who finished 2022 in Triple-A, so they’ll both presumably be ready for some MLB action at some point this season.
As Dodgers beat writer J.P. Hoornstra said on SportsNetLA last week, Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily need to add a starter this offseason.
“I think if the Dodgers did nothing to shore up their rotation and they just went into the season with this as is, it would probably still be one of the better rotations in baseball,” Hoornstra said. “But when I look at, when you get down to number four — let’s say that’s Dustin May, he’s your number four starter. He did not pitch a full season in 2022. There are some question marks as to how much work he can absorb in 2023. As good as he is, that is a question mark.
“And then you’re starting to get into the very young pitchers. Into the Ryan Pepiots, the Michael Groves, maybe the Bobby Millers at some point in 2023. And these guys have yet to prove themselves at the big league level. For all their potential, again, there are some question marks.
“There really isn’t that back of the rotation, steady innings-eating type veteran that they had in Tyler Anderson. I think that’s what I would like them to go see them go and get this offseason.”
Hoornstra is probably right about L.A.’s needs, or lack thereof. Even with their roster’s current holes, the first projections have them winning 91 games next year. Los Angeles could focus on center field and shortstop to bump that number up and probably cruise into the postseason without addressing the pitching.
But as Hoornstra notes, there are a lot of question marks, and it’s easy to picture extended stretches with Pepiot and Grove and Jackson in the rotation together next year, and they’re probably not quite ready to commit quite that drastically to a youth movement. Whether they add a back-end innings eater or a frontline starter, it’s the stability that might make the biggest difference in the 2023 regular season.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!