Dodgers’ plan to build elite starting rotation somehow blowing up in their face
Over their last 16 games, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been the worst team in the National League.
And we’re truly surprised they’re not the worst team in any sport at the moment.
The offense can’t score. The bullpen can’t hold a lead. That’s resulted in a 4-12 record over the last two-plus weeks.
Aside from the Detroit Tigers, you won’t see a worse team in baseball … but you could argue what the Dodgers are doing is worse because we expect this from the Tigers.
The worst part? The Dodgers’ grand plan of building an elite starting rotation, which theoretically would be able to save them during lifeless offensive stretches like we’re witnessing at the moment, is hardly helping.
We’re not saying paying Trevor Bauer a record-setting contract was necessarily a bad idea, but it’s frustrating that the $40 million-per-season bailout option can’t even get the team a win.
The Dodgers’ losing streak has been fueled by the offense and bullpen.
It’s not the rotation’s fault, either. This is fully on the offense and the bullpen. But conventional wisdom would’ve previously suggested that, at worst, during this run of scoring just 64 runs across their last 16 games (which is actually inflated due to fact they scored 24 total runs in two blowout victories!) that the team maybe could’ve escaped with an 8-8 record.
That doesn’t feel like a lot to ask when your starters have these stats:
- Clayton Kershaw: 2.95 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in seven starts (39.2 innings)
- Walker Buehler: 3.16 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 31 strikeouts in five starts (31.1 innings)
- Trevor Bauer: 2.44 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 58 strikeouts in seven starts (44.1 innings)
- Julio Urias: 2.87 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in six starts (37.2 innings)
- Dustin May: 2.74 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in five starts (23 innings) before going down with a UCL injury
But guess what? When you’re making other team’s Nos. 3-5 starters look like your ace, then it comes down to a battle of the bullpens.
Surprisingly, despite his horrid stretch, the Dodgers still lead MLB in run differential, but that’s surely about to change. Their bullpen is decimated, as injuries to Tony Gonsolin, David Price, Brusdar Graterol, Joe Kelly and Corey Knebel have significantly thinned the unit.
It turns out, it doesn’t matter how good of a rotation you have if you have game-changing injuries/lack of production across the rest of the roster. The Dodgers by no means have to go back to the drawing board, but perhaps it’s now evident that the elite group of starters won’t be able to shoulder the load for the entire way.