Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Bronson Arroyo is a Diamondback, this is good news, at least from my end. So lets just assume the Dodgers don´t sign anyone else to fill the 5th starter ¨void¨. I think that´s a fairly reasonable proposition considering they weren´t among the finalists to sign Bronson Arroyo
I see why Arroyo is attractive as a pitcher, essentially 8 seasons of 200 innings at least, and durability is valuable in today´s game, if he gets his option picked up in 3 years he will make in excess of 100 million dollars in his career, but it´s going to be funny when Josh Beckett has a better season than him. Regardless, I can´t see any pitchers on the market (not named Ubaldo Jimenez) who are better than the options the Dodgers have right now, someone is going to have to be the 5th starter, I suppose. And while it´s been pretty well documented that the 5th starter is an area of need for the Dodgers, it´s probably one of the more underrated facets of the upcoming Dodgers season. If you really think about it, the Dodgers rotation has some more questions that we´d like to admit. Yeah, Kershaw and Greinke are probably going to be really really really good, but everything else can be a bit shaky.
Hyun-Jin Ryu had a smashing debut, and got better as the season went on, but i´m strangely concerned. Maybe it´s the lack of a really good 3rd pitch, fangraphs rated his slider as fairly average last season, which sounds correctly, and also rated his curveball as pretty below average, which also sounds about right. I´m a bit worried about a sophomore slump because of his secondary stuff, and the league adjusting to him. It´s probably not enough to predict massive regression, but it´s enough to make me worry about this upcoming season.
Dan Haren, certainly has the potential to be a solid signing, also has the potential to be mediocre. Throughout the offseason, I have been watching some highlight reels, and every once in awhile I´d come across an NL East home run reel. More often than not, Dan Haren was involved.When he´s leaving his 88 MPH meatballs out on the plate, he gets smacked around. A lot of the same things that are being said about Dan Haren now, are the same exact things that were being said last season by Nationals fans. ¨If he could just keep the ball in the park…¨. So he´s by no means ¨a sure thing¨, you could see why one would be pessimistic about him.
And of course, that troubling #5 spot. We all know the options, some sort of piggy back including Josh Beckett/Chad Billingsley, Zach Lee (who I love), Matt Magill, Ross Stripling, and everyone else. I think I´d like the 5th starter situation to shake out in that order. Beckett should get the first chance to pitch. Maybe he gets back somewhere near his 2011 season and 2012 season? Remember, he did have the loss of feeling in his arm dating back to early 2012, if he corrected that problem, maybe he can be a 3 win pitcher (a nice medium between his 2011 season and 2012 season). Of course, if this doesn´t work out, finally seeing Zach Lee would be great. I personally think Lee could pitch at an Arroyoian clip this upcoming season, last season in the minors, he had all of the numbers to support the scouts who say he´s going to be pretty good for a long time. I look at someone who put up a 8.26 K/9, a nice 2.21 BB/9, and a pretty good .82 HR/9 at such a young age versus advanced competition as a good thing, and he´s already looking to lock up the 5th spot in the rotation.
This is one of the many interesting situations that will be resolved in Spring Training when they report tomorrow (!!!!).