What Will The Back-end Of The Dodger Rotation Look Like in 2013?


So after the Dodgers have now signed Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu, it’s time to look at what the Dodger rotation might look like in 2013. For the moment it appears the Dodger rotation will be Clayton Kershaw, Birdman, Ryu, Chad Billingsley, and Josh Beckett. That means that Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, and Ted Lilly, are now on the trade block. So what will the back-end of the rotation look like?

Much will depend on if Bills is healthy next year or not.-Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The rotation is going to be very good in 2013. Kershaw should put up his usual Cy Young numbers. Greinke is projected to post 15 wins, a 3.45 ERA, over 200 innings pitched, 50 walks, 200 whiffs, and a WHIP of around 1.20. Those are pretty good numbers. Not sure what type of numbers Ryu wil put up, but according to sources he’s got a mid 90’s fastball, and a bugs bunny like changeup. That’s a strong 1-2-3 punch. Now the rest of the rotation will depend on a few variables.

IF Bills is healthy…..

If Chad Billingsley is healthy, then the rotation should look like the one above. It means the Dodgers probably trade Harang, Capuano, and put Lilly in the bullpen. Maybe. But Lilly’s health is in question too. Does anybody expect Lilly to remain healthy for a full season? No, of course not. If Billinglsey’s right elbow does not need Tommy John surgery, and Ted Lilly’s rusty neck and shoulder are fine, then we can flip Cappy, and Harang for prospects or bench depth. We won’t know until spring training when Bill’s elbow, and Lilly’s neck are tested. (If Lilly isn’t traded before) Lilly will be harder to move because of his contract, but with pitching hard to come by, someone should want Cappy, and or Harang, although the Dodgers may have to eat some of their contracts. Not like that matters, we have plenty of money.

If Bills is not healthy…..

Now if Bills is not healthy, then the scenario changes somewhat. If that happens, then  Beckett would slot in behind Ryu, and Ted Lilly would take Billingsley’s spot in the rotation. Maybe Cappy is kept as a long man, and Harang traded? That’s possible. Or they both could be traded anyways.

Or what if Bills and Lilly are both hurt?……

Remember, Lilly’s neck, shoulder and back have always been very rusty. I find it hard to believe that he would make it through a full season without getting hurt. So what happens then? Well, then Beckett still slots in as the number four guy, and Capuano would have to take over in the number five slot. For a number five starter you could do much worse than Chris Capuano. Which would mean maybe Harang wouldn’t be traded, and instead kept for the long man/spot starter role?

I would assume that Cappy and Harang will be traded for mid to low level type prospects or bench depth. We’ve heard that the Dodgers are interested in Cardinal’s utility man Skip Schumaker. Maybe a Harang for Schumaker and one mid level type prospect would work? Cappy should get a little more in return because I think he’s better than Harang, although not by much. Maybe the Dodgers could put them up on waivers?

The front three of the Dodger rotation is now set. But the backend is still up in the air depending on who is healthy, and who is traded. The Dodgers have many possibilities and an abundance of starting pitching. The options are limitless. That of course makes us all feel the warm and fuzzies. So if you are Ned Colletti, what would you do? What do you think the back-end of the Dodger rotation will look like next year? Who would you trade and why? Sound off in the comments below.