The Los Angeles Dodgers were MLB’s first team to 90 wins. They are what the kids would call a “wagon.” Admittedly, at least rational LA fans would say, the Dodgers typically make this look easy, especially over the last five or so years.
It’s because the roster construction has largely been as complete and seamless as it could get. Andrew Friedman constantly putting the team in this position allows for breakouts fans never saw coming.
The 2022 season has felt/been great, but just think for a moment how bad it could’ve been if the Dodgers didn’t have production in unexpected corners of the roster. For all the injuries this team has dealt with so far, a lesser team would’ve been in deep, deep trouble.
All of Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Chris Taylor, Dustin May, Blake Treinen, Andrew Heaney, Daniel Hudson and Tommy Kahnle have missed extended time (or most/all of the season). Guys like Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger have either regressed or continued to regress, putting more pressure elsewhere in the lineup.
LA lost Kenley Jansen, Trevor Bauer, Max Scherzer, Joe Kelly, Corey Knebel, Corey Seager and AJ Pollock this offseason and have been better. A colossal reason has been the emergence of this group of players.
3 unexpected performances that have saved the Dodgers 2022 season
3. The Rotation (Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, Tony Gonsolin)
One spot reserved for three players?! No way! As well as this trio has done this year, it’s fairly easy to truncate the collective contributions into a shorter blurb.
Tyler Anderson hadn’t had a year with a sub-4.00 ERA since 2016 and he was an All-Star in 2022. Andrew Heaney was coming off his worst career season between the Angels and Yankees and has rebounded to the tune of a 2.12 ERA and 3.30 FIP in 10 starts. Tony Gonsolin (16-1!) was arguably the frontrunner for the NL Cy Young award before his untimely injury last week.
The Dodgers endured most of 2022 without Dustin May (who just returned) and Walker Buehler (who’s now out until 2024). Clayton Kershaw’s missed large chunks since April as well. Most teams that suffer losses like that completely fold.
If not for Anderson, Heaney and Gonsolin, who knows where the Dodgers would be at this point in the year? They’re a big reason for this group being the best in MLB.