Dodger’s Spot Starter Options

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The Dodgers have a vaunted starting rotation full of Cy Young award winners, and all-star hurlers. However with the injury to Hyun-jin Ryu’s shoulder there could be a chink in the armor. If the Dodgers have to put Ryu on the disabled list to start the season, who can they count on to replace him?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The options:

Erik Bedard

The most obvious candidate would be right hander Erik Bedard. However he had to exit Friday’s game early with some kind of triceps injury. He made 30 pitches in one inning of work. Apparently Bedard felt something tweak, but has said he doesn’t think it’s anything serious.

"“I felt a little tweak,” “I pitched to the next two batters and I was like, ‘No, I don’t think this is a good idea to go back out. I think I’ll be fine.”"

He has not looked good at all this spring. The 36-year old left hander has made two starts this spring and pitched in three games. He’s posted a 5.40 ERA, and has allowed three earned runs on five hits in five innings pitched. He’s walked three and whiffed three as well. I would put the odds of him making the roster now are pretty low.

Carlos Frias

The Dodgers could turn to youngster Carlos Frias if they need a start or two from him. The 25-year old right hander hasn’t looked particularly sharp in camp this spring either. Frias has pitched in three games, and posted a 5.79 ERA in 4.2 innings pitched. He’s allowed three earned runs on six hits and walked four, but struck out six. He has the ability to miss bats, but command has been an issue. He just needs more experience, and I don’t think the Dodgers would use him unless there was an emergency. I would guess he would start the year in triple-A

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  • Joe Wieland

    There is always the newly acquired Joe Wieland, picked up in the Matt Kemp trade. He’s looked incredibly sharp thus far. He’s pitched in nine innings, and posted an ERA of 1.00. In four games he’s allowed just one earned run on seven hits and struck out nine. The whole time he’s walked just three. He’s got a deceptive arm angle, and throws a strong two-seamer, four seamer, and curve. I would give Wieland the best shot at taking over for Hyun-jin Ryu in the first couple of weeks of the season.

    Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    Juan Nicasio

    The Dodgers will probably just end up letting Nicasio start instead of any of these other guys. To be honest, Nicasio looked awful in his first outing, and since then has looked a lot better. He’s only struck out four in five frames, but throws a very hard fastball in the mid to upper 90’s. He’s pitched in four games this spring, and while he may look like Frankenstein on the mound, he can bring the gas.

    Zach Lee

    The Dodgers still have the internal option of going with rookie Zach Lee. The 23-year old right hander and former first round pick has been in the minor leagues for four seasons. I wonder if the Dodgers will ever give him a chance. He’s been solid in spring. In two games he’s allowed just one hit in four innings of work. I would love to see what Lee could bring to the table in games that count.

    Those are the primary candidates. If I am forgetting anyone please let me know.

    The injury to Ryu’s shoulder is very similar to the one that plagued him last season. He missed about three weeks right before the playoffs, and didn’t return until game three of the NLDS. However he pitched very well in that game, allowing just one earned run in six frames. I don’t think Ryu will miss much time if he has to start on the disabled list. If he has to though, the Dodgers have plenty of options to choose from if they need a spot start or two.

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