The Dodgers Get a Peek at the Future of Their Rotation in Colorado
The Dodgers will head to Colorado looking to take a bite out of their four-game deficit to the Rockies. In the first two games of the series, the Dodgers will start two rookies.
Perhaps it is a symbol of the passing of the baton, or perhaps it is just an unlucky coincidence. The day after Clayton Kershaw re-injured his back and averaged only 87-88 miles per hour on his fastball, the Dodgers next two games will be started by two rookies who figure to be a part of the Dodgers’ rotation for years to come. Dennis Santana will start this evening’s game and Walker Buehler will start Saturday’s game.
Dennis Santana is going to make his major league debut in one of the toughest environments for a pitcher; dreaded Coors Field. Santana is only twenty-two years old and was originally signed by the Dodgers as a shortstop. After converting to a full-time pitcher in 2014, Santana has been on the rise ever since. This season Santana made ten total starts for the Tulsa Drillers and the OKC Dodgers and posted a 2.54 ERA while limiting opposing hitters to a .196 batting average. Santana throws in the low 90’s with ease and has sinking movement on his fastball. He also features a diving changeup and an offspeed pitch that is in between being a slider and a curveball.
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There has been some talk by Dave Roberts that he could start a left-handed reliever such as Scott Alexander in Friday’s game before handing the ball over to Santana, but either way, Dennis is going to make his big league debut tonight. While Santana was only supposed to be called up to make a start or two with Kenta Maeda on the DL, there is a chance he may stick around longer if Kershaw misses significant time again which is likely the case.
Walker Buehler is the other youngster starting this weekend and by now, Dodger fans have seen the kind of dominance the young rookie right-hander is capable of. This season Buehler has gone 3-1 with an impressive 2.20 ERA and a minuscule 0.90 WHIP. Hitters have had trouble getting anything going against Walker as he’s allowed a .189 batting average to the opposition. While Walker Buehler is averaging 10 K/9IP, the most impressive part of his game so far has been his ability to pitch deep into games. Buehler has been efficient in games and making it into the sixth inning is almost routine for him now.
Next: Dodgers Quick Hits: Kershaw, Wood, Friday's Starter
As the Dodgers try to chip away at the Rockies’ division lead, they will be lead by two rookies who are the future of the Dodgers rotation. Even Alex Wood who pitches Sunday is still only twenty-seven years old and could be a mainstay in the Dodgers rotation for years to come if he is re-signed after next season. While the Dodgers and their fans wait to hear a status update on the current ace of the staff, the future of the Dodgers rotation will be on full display this weekend in Colorado.