The baseball drought is almost over. The Dodgers pitchers and catchers will report to Camelback Park on February 19th, then begin working out the next day. What is the current state of The Dodgers’ pitching staff?
Clayton Kershaw. We have basically no questions here. Kershaw has been a rock solid great starting pitcher for many years now. Last year, he likely tore off the monkey from his back that was known as “playoff choker”. He is not that. He is a reliably great pitcher who could possibly become even better in 2016.
Number two or number one-“B” starting pitcher. Oh, that was Zack Greinke, and now he is gone. So who is the replacement? Well, no one pitcher will replace Greinke on this staff. Who is number two? Maybe Scott Kazmir. A 32 year old pitcher, Scott pitched eleven seasons in the American League before being signed by the Dodgers as a free agent. Kazmir peaked in 2007, then began struggling with injuries in 2008 and 2009. He finally dropped completely out of the major leagues in 2011 and 2012, then began his comeback in 2013. Based on his WHIP’s of 1.16 in 2014 and 1.21 in 2015, it appears that he has been able to breathe new life into his pitching career.
Kenta Maeda is young, posted great numbers in Japan, and may be the only right handed pitcher in the starting rotation this year.
Brett Anderson is an enigma. We all thought he would fall apart last year, as he had only once previuosly strung together more than 115 innings in one year. Will he hold up again this year? Only time will tell.
At first, Alex Wood seemed like a good mid-season pickup. But he certainly didn’t perform well late in the season, nor in the post season. He may be in the minors in 2016 if Ryu comes back strong.
Injured arms on their way back: Hyun Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Brandon Beachy. Beachy is on a road less traveled on his way back from two Tommy John surgeries, and is not even on the 40 man roster.
Others – Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias, Julio Urias, Julian De Leon, Jharrel Cotton, Zach Lee. We may not have the best #2-#5 in our rotation, but boy do we have depth.
Kenley Jansen is a perpetual all-star.
Chris Hatcher got stronger late in the year, we can hope he will be a solid set up man.
Yimi Garcia was very good at times, not as good other times.
Pedro Baez does a pretty good job, not great.
J.P. Howell is still hanging around. Will he become more of a LOOGY this year?
Luis Avilan is a service-able left hander.
Joe Blanton is back, this time as a reliever.
Adam Liberatore (not Lipitor!)
Frankie Montas could be the diamond in the rough. He flashes a 100 mph fastball, and could be used out of the bullpen or as a starting pitcher.