Darvish is a victim of high expectations since being traded to the Dodgers. The splash got so much media attention that Dodger fans were already proclaiming this team World Champions before even seeing him in a Dodger uniform.
Similar to Rich Hill of last season, Darvish has had his fair share of ups and downs as a Dodger. He had a stellar first impression striking out ten in seven scoreless innings, but then wound up on the DL. Since being traded to LA, Darvish has started five games for the boys in blue. Darvish is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 26 innings pitched. Very modest numbers for a pitcher that was supposed to push the Dodgers over the hill.
So what does this mean?
The fact that Darvish has a high ERA is not surprising to me. He has a career 3.45 ERA and did not gain his pedigree by throwing up scoreless innings. Instead, Darvish got his reputation by being one of the filthiest pitchers in the MLB, and for the most part, that has translated to over in his five starts with the Dodgers as he has a K/9 over 11.
What’s concerning to me here is the home runs he’s allowed. Moving from Arlington Field to Dodger Stadium was supposed to be an upgrade for Darvish. Instead, Darvish has allowed six home runs in five starts as a Dodger.
Darvish is the clear cut number two on the roster. No disrespect to Hill or Wood, but Darvish is a pitcher that could put the pressure on any given offense. He may not put together a streak of scoreless innings like Kershaw would, but Darvish can at least keep hitters off the bases with his high strikeout numbers. Dave Roberts will go into the playoffs with Darvish as his comfortable number two starter. It makes the most sense as he has the highest upside out of all our pitchers not named Kershaw and splits the rotation by adding a right-hander.
Panic Meter: 3/10 – “Grumbling…”