Option 1: Kershaw-Stripling-Hill-Maeda-Wood …. Buehler and Ryu to the Bullpen
Let me preface this by saying this list is in no particular order.
Roberts has a tough decision on his hands without a doubt. Here is why this rotation makes sense. Kershaw at the top will continue to be a theme in this article.
Stripling has earned the right to continue on as a starter. He is having an all-star like season and “demoting” him back to the bullpen will hurt both Stripling and the entire Dodger team. Entering his start Wednesday against the Cubs Stripling has a 1.76 ERA which is 3rd in the bigs behind only Justin Verlander and Jacob DeGrom (min 65 IP). Chicken Strip has been nothing short of terrific in 2018.
Rich Hill showed Tuesday evening how dominant he can be. Allowing just 3 hits and no runs on 6 innings of work in Chicago. If Hill can stave off the nagging blister issues he is always a nice addition to the starting rotation.
Kenta Maeda struggled Tuesday afternoon but has been pretty good this season. In contrast to past seasons, Maeda has continually seen himself get dep into games and tally up those strikeouts as a result of him being more aggressive in the strike zone.
Alex Wood has indeed struggled this season. But he was fantastic last season and has had back to back starts allowing 2 runs or less. Wood has had some very good starts this season, he has also had some very ugly starts, thus the bad numbers. Though he is now slowly turning it around and being healthy and reliable may give him an upper hand in gaining a rotation spot.
Ryu has been injury prone his entire tenue with the Dodgers, lowering his workload and using him in the bullpen can be very beneficial to his health.
Buehler is on an innings limit and using him in the bullpen until later on in the season can extend his stay with the club and make him useful if a deep playoff run is on the horizon.