The Los Angeles Dodgers are gearing up for another postseason run, and as the regular season winds down, their focus is shifting towards their pitching plans for October. In this article, we’ll delve into the key aspects of the Dodgers’ preparations, shedding light on their strategies and player updates.
Managing Pitcher Workloads
The Dodgers, who have clinched a division title and hold a significant lead for a first-round bye in the playoffs, are in a unique position. They can now prioritize rest and workload management for their top pitchers. Manager Dave Roberts aims to keep his key arms fresh, avoiding overuse during the final stretch of the regular season.
Roberts commented, "Every game is important, but they’re not created equal, given where we’re at in standings."
Pitching Rotation and Depth
To maintain their pitchers’ health and performance, the Dodgers are considering extending the time between starts for their rotation. They have a pool of minor league pitchers who can step in for spot starts if needed, ensuring their primary starters are in peak condition come October.
The manager stressed, "I think the main thing is getting to and through October healthy."
In addition to managing workloads, the Dodgers are hopeful about improving their health. Several key players are on the mend, including right-handed reliever Shelby Miller, who recently returned from a minor league rehabilitation assignment. Joe Kelly and Yency Almonte are also expected to make their comebacks in the near future. Starter Walker Buehler is progressing well in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and Blake Treinen is on a minor league rehab assignment. Even Daniel Hudson hasn’t given up hope of returning from a knee injury.
Exploring Pitching Options
With a talented roster of pitchers, the Dodgers are not afraid to explore different postseason scenarios. Young starters like Ryan Pepiot and Gavin Stone have been making impressive multi-inning relief appearances, gaining valuable experience for potential playoff roles. Left-hander Caleb Ferguson has been used as an opener, hinting at a role in the October games. Trade-deadline acquisition Ryan Yarbrough has excelled as a versatile swingman, providing valuable innings out of the bullpen.
Roberts noted, "There’s a handful of options that are gonna hopefully be harder decisions to make."
A Non-Traditional Approach
Intriguingly, the Dodgers are signaling that they might not adhere to a traditional playoff pitching plan. Aside from Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw, the club may not rely on any other pitchers as true starters who would face a lineup multiple times.
As the Dodgers already start thinking about postseason pitching plans, their approach reflects a willingness to adapt and innovate, keeping their opponents guessing in the pursuit of another championship.
In conclusion, the Dodgers are meticulously planning their postseason pitching strategies, aiming for a balanced blend of rest, health, and versatility in their pitching staff. As the regular season unfolds, all eyes will be on Los Angeles to see how their unconventional approach pans out in the quest for a World Series title.
Other Pertinent Matters to Consider
Do the Dodgers have enough pitching in 2023?
With only two weeks and three days left in the regular season, the question arises: do the Dodgers possess enough pitching to navigate through the postseason? Historically, this hasn’t been a significant issue for them, but as we enter 2023, it’s become a substantial uncertainty.
Who will start in the postseason for the Dodgers?
Who will take the mound for the Dodgers in the postseason? Urías, Kershaw, and Anderson are set to start, but what comes next is still to be determined. It’s a stark contrast from last year when Buehler and Scherzer led the rotation. In the wake of recent developments, that feels like a distant memory.
Should the Dodgers clinch a postseason berth early?
Should the Dodgers secure a postseason spot and clinch the NL West title ahead of schedule, it provides the opportunity to ease Miller’s workload. This includes the option to provide him with additional rest between starts or limit his innings in games. However, it’s crucial to emphasize that Miller is undeniably one of the team’s top starting pitchers as they prepare for the postseason. In fact, he might just be their best.
Is the Dodgers’ starting rotation a problem?
Is the Dodgers’ starting rotation presenting a problem? There’s a genuine cause for concern as it hasn’t met the high standards the team is used to. Clayton Kershaw’s struggles since returning from a left shoulder injury, which kept him sidelined for over a month, only add to the worries as the postseason approaches.