The Los Angeles Dodgers might be cruising to the best record in MLB, but this isn’t exactly an ironclad postseason roster due to all the injuries and issues endured by the pitching staff. For starters, their postseason ace, Walker Buehler, won’t be back until 2024.
As for the rest of the rotation, Andrew Heaney is regressing, Tony Gonsolin is on the IL with a forearm strain, Dustin May is getting back up to speed after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, and there’s just no trusting Clayton Kershaw’s health at this point in his career unfortunately.
Then there’s the bullpen. Victor Gonzalez and Tommy Kahnle are on the mend, but how useful/effective will they be? Brusdar Graterol recently hit the IL and it doesn’t sound good. David Price just joined him, too. Yency Almonte has been out for a month and only just started throwing bullpen sessions. To think Danny Duffy will contribute in any capacity is delusion.
That leaves the current staff to continue on their current, promising trajectories, bounce back, or get acclimated to game action after long layoffs due to injury. At this present moment, a trio of arms could make or break the Dodgers’ postseason success.
These Dodgers pitchers will be most important to the team’s postseason run
3. Tyler Anderson
Arguably the most surprising performer in MLB this year, Tyler Anderson has been a savior for the Dodgers when he was initially slated for a bullpen role because manager Dave Roberts decided to give the final rotation spot to Andrew Heaney.
But injuries to the roster changed Anderson’s job. He’s responded admirably, going 14-3 with a 2.73 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 1.03 WHIP and 117 strikeouts in 26 games (24 starts), totaling 154.2 innings. Oh yeah, and one big Ian Happ shove into the dirt. He barely surrenders homers or walks. The perfect recipe for a postseason pitcher.
And that’s why he needs to keep performing on this trajectory if the Dodgers want October success. Right now, Anderson and Julio Urías feel like the only “locks” to deliver reliable performances or be healthy enough to take the field. The issues/injuries the aforementioned starters are dealing with offer hardly any security for what’s to come a month from now.
Anderson’s actually thrown the most innings of any Dodgers starter this year (a full nine more than the next most in Urías). That longevity will be crucial in preserving the bullpen for one or two games in a playoff series.