Starting pitching proved to be a MAJOR hole in the 2023 Dodgers roster, becoming an unfortunate combination with the uncharacteristic performance from the LA bats in the Dodgers’ NLDS collapse against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are now prepping for the World Series.
In Game 1, Clayton Kershaw had arguably the worst start to his career, giving up 6 earned runs and getting just one batter out. Bobby Miller didn’t fare much better in Game 2, giving up 3 earned runs before getting yanked in the second inning. To cap it off, Lance Lynn gave up 4 home runs in the third inning as the Dodgers were embarrassed by the Diamondbacks and ended their 2023 campaign a bit earlier than most fans would have preferred.
Now, the Dodgers must reload their starting rotation. With some promising young talent, such as Miller and Emmet Sheehan, there is hope for the future, but as Clayton Kershaw mulls retirement, there could be a big shakeup in how the Dodgers approach the position.
As J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group pointed out in a recent chat with DodgersNation.com, there are not a wealth of potential free agents who can give a team six quality innings in each start. So will they be exploring deals with guys at the top of the free agent market for starting pitchers?
“I think they kind of have to,” Hoornstra said. “If you look at who’s in that first tier of starters, there’s like six guys plus Clayton Kershaw, if he wants to come back. And Yoshinobu Yamamoto is in that group. Blake Snell, Eduardo Rodriguez is in that group, if he opts out. Aaron Nola’s in that group. Sonny Gray, if you want to throw him in there. Lance Lynn is in that second group. … We have to talk about the trade market too. If the White Sox were gonna rebuild, would they trade Dylan Cease? Knowing how Andrew Friedman controls the offseason, he’ll hold the trades and hold the free agents and whoever is the best deal he will try and [acquire].”(Via Dodgers Nation)
Kershaw’s potential retirement and a healthy Walker Buehler will undoubtedly play a major role in the Dodgers’ plan in the offseason. But regardless, the 2023 postseason showed that LA’s starting rotation needs to be strengthened. The front office will face a whole bunch of competition when it comes to available players this winter.
Check out the video above for much, much more on the Dodgers’ offseason plans.
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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