Dodgers: Three Major Storylines to Monitor Before the Postseason

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 09: Manager Dave Roberts (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 09: Manager Dave Roberts (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 12: Hyun-Jin Ryu (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Starting Rotation In-Game Depth

We’ve noted time and time again that depth is a great thing to have. This season the club’s depth at the starting rotation has been called upon seemingly every month. So the depth isn’t necessarily the issue to look out for. As Hector Ponce pointed out last week, competition has brought out the best in the Dodgers starters, and the roles will define themselves as the season wears down and roster cuts are made in the postseason.

But there is a storyline to watch here, and it goes hand in hand with the bullpen storyline I just mentioned. This season the starters are averaging just under six innings per start, which is relatively solid when you have a dominant bullpen as the Dodgers have. But when you remove Kershaw from the equation Dodger starters are averaging a shade under 5 1/3 innings pitched. That breaks down as followed:

Kenta Maeda – 19 starts, 100.1 innings, 5.27 innings/start

Alex Wood – 18 starts, 105 innings, 5.83 innings/start

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 17 starts, 92.2 innings, 5.43 innings/start

Rich Hill – 17 starts, 89 innings, 5.24 innings/start

Brandon McCarthy – 16 starts, 86.2 innings, 5.38 innings/start

Yu Darvish – 2 starts, 12 innings, 6 innings/start

Obviously, the Dodgers pitching staff will look a whole lot better when Kershaw rejoins them hopefully sometime by the end of this month. But we’re still asking for around 7-9 starts from each of these starters until October.

Something has to give, and either these pitchers start pitching more consistently when their rotation spot comes around, or Roberts needs to add more arms to the bullpen to spread out the workload. Don’t get me wrong, pitching a little over five innings in the postseason is like gold. But for now, it will be helpful to the bullpen to have the starters going consistently past six innings.