The Los Angeles Dodgers' pitching depth seemed likely to be tested this season when Noah Syndergaard was the only significant addition to a unit that would have to scrape by without Walker Buehler (though don't tell Buehler that).
In the first two months of the season, things have only gotten more dire as the projections have met the road. Syndergaard has been lost to various ailments, from finger troubles to confidence issues. Dustin May's right elbow has developed non-Tommy-John soreness. Ryan Pepiot, injured before Opening Day, is nowhere to be found.
And now Julio Urías, following a less-than-inspiring, homer-prone outing in St. Louis, has hit the shelf, too, felled by a hamstring strain.
Beyond Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin, the Dodgers are devoid of sure things, and are sure to dip into their minor-league system in the coming days and weeks to find temporary solutions to a permanent problem.
This time around, after Bobby Miller's promotion for Tuesday's start, right-hander Landon Knack feels like the logical next option to receive a turn. The Athletic ran a roundup of under-the-radar prospects fans should know, at the end of last week, and Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes gave Knack a healthy endorsement. The piece dropped at an opportune time for the righty.
Dodgers Landon Knack next in line after Bobby Miller promotion?
Knack's arsenal features a mid-90s fastball that plays atop the zone, but his developing slider is the real star of his pitch mix, now rating as a 55 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale, in line with his heater.
According to Gomes, his ceiling should be acknowledged by the rest of the league:
"I feel strongly that Landon Knack is being underappreciated right now. He had some real momentum in years past and had a hiccup in the second half of last year. He really dialed-in his routine and nutrition this offseason. (He spent the whole offseason at Camelback Ranch with our group.) Now that his delivery is in a good place again, he’s carrying velo throughout the game and has above-average feel for multiple pitches to flood the zone to create weak contact while maintaining the ability to get swing-and-miss when needed. I think he has as high of a major-league starting pitcher probability as anyone in our organization."- Brandon Gomes
Of course, it's Gomes' job to drum up interest in mid-tier prospects in the Dodgers' system in hopes of finding them new homes as headliners of midseason trades.
With the rotation gap widening by the day in Los Angeles, though, it suddenly seems just as likely that the Dodgers are the team Knack is helping this summer by being here now, rather than serving as a second or third piece in a Tim Anderson trade.