Dodgers’ Depth Has Been the Key to a Solid April Start
The Dodgers and a strong April start have gone together as well as water and oil. So far in 2019, LA’s depth has fueled a solid April start.
The Dodgers have had a similar pattern in the past few seasons. April has been a slow start, followed by an average May, and then around June when the weather heats up the Dodgers catch fire and rise to the top of the NL West. So far in 2019, the Dodgers have had a solid April start at 12-8 and that is due to the solid depth Andrew Friedman has built in the organization.
Last year the Dodgers were 10-10 through twenty games, then fell into a hole going as many as eleven games under 500. This year through twenty games the Dodgers are 12-8 and outside of winning streak driven by offensive explosions, the Dodgers have not played that great. Yet they stand alone in first place already and are four games above 500.
The starting rotation depth has been tested with as many as three starters out of the rotation at one time in Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ross Stripling has filled in with better than expected results after a second-half collapse a season ago. Julio Urias has also shown glimpses of the stuff that made him one of the most prized pitching prospects in baseball.
Offensively the Dodgers have had plenty of fireworks yet Justin Turner and Corey Seager have yet to take off. Turner has hit more lately but still does not have a home run and Seager is still getting his legs under him after missing a full season. Max Muncy has filled in for Turner a couple of times while playing decent defense and Alex Verdugo has had a hot start batting .372 with a few home runs.
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How many teams have the luxury of sitting their best hitter due to an injury while playing one of the top prospects in baseball to fill in? That’s the luxury the Dodgers have with Alex Verdugo and their deep depth. They also have the luxury of using Ross Stripling and Julio Urias as spot starters who would make just about any other rotation in the majors.
Andrew Friedman has created not only a strong lineup but a strong bench, and organizational depth to survive the marathon that is the regular season. The Dodgers continue to shake off injuries and keep rolling right along. With Hill returning soon and Kershaw already back, that rotation depth will soon bolster the bullpen.
LA’s depth is a gift that keeps on giving, and it’s no wonder they have made it to back to back World Series. The Dodgers are built to survive just about any injury that hits them during the long season. If they run into an injury they cannot overcome, they have the prospect depth needed to make an impact move as they did for Manny Machado last season. The Dodgers are finally off to a solid April start and their depth is the primary reason why.