Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Offseason: Reporter Feels LA Starting Rotation Is Really Good As-Is But With Question Marks

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.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. I don’t know how many shut down starters there are out there, maybe deGrom or Verlander? Our guys are good, but you see what happened in the playoffs. We needed shut down guys and we ended up with 3 runs allowed and no offense to pick up the slack. Maybe there are some shut down guys in the minors that we don’t know yet. Meanwhile, we can certainly compete with the guys we have and focus the off-season on contact guys for the offense. Yea, but Trea is going to walk and JTurn will play somewhere else too. Those are two of our higher average guys. If we’re going to let them walk, we need to replace them with potent bats. I say let Busch have his shot at 2nd, Vargas at DH, Lux at SS and sign Benetendi, Kermeier in the OF.

  2. The pitching decisions will ultimately come down to secure starters for the post-season. Pitching is one component of the team that no one wants to have to bolster in-season. If we roll the dice it will likely be in the outfield.
    For those who think Busch can handle 2b, Lux SS, and Muncy/Vargas 3b with no shift available, I’d think again. Look for Andrew to trade for a quality SS, leave Lux at 2b and come up with more pitching. Probably will start the year with platoons in left (Taylor/Busch) and Center (Thompson/Outman) with Miggy getting plenty of at-bats at third and DH unless some player falls in our lap fortuitously.

    1. The decision on SS will set the tone for the infield. If Muncy and Vargas are at 3rd they have limited range and Lux is a good SS but not above average. If they as you say have Busch at 2nd they need a high end defensive SS. I like the idea of trying Amaya. he is a high end defender according to his minor league games. Do they trade for Adams?
      I like the idea of resetting the Luxury tax this year and going with the kids. They can spend like crazy in 24. Although I think the 24 rotation with Urias, May, Gonsolin and probably Miller and maybe Stone will be very good and then Buehler should be back by mid or early 24. They may get a couple of guys like Anderson and see if the coaches can work their magic. They do not need a long term pitcher as they have plenty coming up and can use the money to strengthen positions that need it. Lets see how Outman does. He plays a solid CF and Thompson is very good defending also. Will they use Vargas and Busch or Taylor in Left?

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