What Does the Dodgers Postseason Pitching Staff Look Like Without Walker Buehler, Julio Urias?

The Dodgers postseason rotation that we expected at the beginning of this season is about to look much different come October.

Before the season, it was a fair expectation to have something like this:

That doesn’t even include Walker Buehler, who was hoping to be back by October to make an impact.

Now, three of those pitchers won’t be in the rotation, and Buehler’s potential return has been shut down. He joins May and Gonsolin as pitchers out due to injury, while Urias was just placed on administrative leave after being arrested under suspicion of a domestic violence felony.

That leaves Kershaw as the only player remaining from that potential Dodgers’ rotation, and he’s dealing with a shoulder issue that has sapped him both of velocity and command.

So who’s going to be pitching for the Dodgers come October alongside Kershaw?

There are more questions than answers to this question, which is never a good sign. Lance Lynn, the team’s lone starting pitcher acquisition at the trade deadline (Ryan Yarbrough is a piggyback guy), looked really good in his first four starts in LA, but really, really bad in his last three. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has talked a lot about the track record, though, which leads me to believe he’ll get a postseason start at some point.

He’s my No. 4 starter, though.

That leaves two more spots in my rotation, and both will be occupied by rookies. Not because I want to, per se, but because I have to. The Dodgers literally don’t have any other options.

Fortunately, there are two rookies who stand above the rest, and look fully ready to take the mound in the postseason.

Let’s start with Bobby Miller, who I not only have starting a postseason game, but Game 1.

Over two months ago I said Bobby Miller would be the Dodgers’ Game 1 starter in the postseason, and that take has aged like the finest of fine wines.

Miller has proven to be one of the Dodgers’ best and most consistent pitchers this season, and has all the makings of a future ace in this league.

I trust him more than anyone else to be on the mound this postseason, as he has the electric stuff to miss bats and get outs in big postseason spots.

With Miller starting Game 1, Kershaw slides into Game 2. I already said I had Lynn at Game 4, so that just leaves Game 3.

Right now, there’s one pitcher I trust way more than anyone else, and that’s Ryan Pepiot.

Pepiot won the Dodgers No. 5 starter job in spring training, but hurt his oblique and didn’t return until just a few weeks ago. However, since making his return, he’s been absolutely dominant.

In four starts, Pepiot has a minuscule 0.86 ERA, and capped it off with 6.2 perfect innings on Thursday before surrendering a hit to the red-hot Miami Marlins.

Pepiot looks leaps and bounds better than he did last year, and deserves to be on the mound in what could be a crucial Game 3.

So, for those who want to see it in a more concise way, here’s my postseason rotation for the Dodgers right now, assuming no more injuries and Kershaw is good enough to go.

  • Game 1: Bobby Miller
  • Game 2: Clayton Kershaw
  • Game 3: Ryan Pepiot
  • Game 4: Lance Lynn

Is this ideal? No. Is this a concern? Maybe. But these rookies and vets give the Dodgers by far their best chance at succeeding in October, and if Kershaw can stay healthy, you have to still feel good about LA’s chances come the postseason with the way the bats have been swinging this year.

As for how the rest of the pitching plays out, I have Ryan Yarbrough and Emmet Sheehan playing crucial piggyback roles, likely for Games 3 and 4. Then, the rest of the bullpen is pretty much chalk, with Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, Ryan Brasier, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller, Alex Vesia and Caleb Ferguson.

Do I trust Vesia and Ferguson? Not really. Do the Dodgers have better left-handed options? Not at all. Sorry, Victor Gonzalez.

The only spot I think is up for grabs is the Sheehan one, as Michael Grove could make a case to take it with a strong end to September.

But Daniel Hudson isn’t coming back, Blake Treinen isn’t coming back and J.P. Feyereisen has seemed to stop playing baseball.

So those are the 13 guys who are going to be with the Dodgers in October (barring injury). If the Dodgers want to win the World Series this season, it feels like it’s going to be up to the offense and a lot of magic from this staff..

Photo Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.


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