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Dodgers starting pitching has been remarkably stable, even if it doesn’t feel like it

Dustin May makes his 2022 debut Saturday

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Dustin May is the headliner on Saturday night, and rightfully so, pitching in a major league game for the first time in 476 days, starting for the Dodgers on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

It’s the culmination of May’s return from Tommy John surgery, after a month-long rehab assignment that saw him post a 1.89 ERA in five starts with Triple-A Oklahoma City, with 33 strikeouts in 19 innings, and six walks.

May is the 10th starting pitcher used by the Dodgers this season, and comes at a perfect time, providing the emotional salve in the same week the Dodgers revealed that Walker Buehler would miss the rest of 2022 after elbow surgery.

Dodgers starting pitchers used

Year Starters
Year Starters
2013 11
2014 12
2015 16
2016 15
2017 10
2018 11
2019 11
2020^ 11
2021 19
2022* 10
^2020: 60-game season *2022: Counting Dustin May; Saturday is Game No. 119

But 10 starting pitchers isn’t all that many in the modern major leagues.

The Dodgers haven’t used fewer than ten starting pitchers in a decade. They used eleven starters during the truncated, 60-game 2020 season. Last year, with a parade of bullpen games down the stretch, the Dodgers used a whopping 19 starting pitchers.

Only six teams have used fewer than ten starting pitchers this season. The MLB average is just over 11 starters.

Maybe it just feels like the Dodgers rotation has suffered more because Buehler has been out since June, Kershaw missed a month already and is currently on the injured list with back soreness, and Andrew Heaney had two long shoulder-related IL stints. I would have thought they’ve used more starters than they actually did.

Tony Gonsolin, Julio Urías, and Tyler Anderson have provided incredible stability, ranking second, third, and sixth, respectively in the National League in ERA. They’ve fueled the results, in which Dodgers starters lead the majors in ERA (2.71), rank third in FIP (3.48), have the seventh-lowest walk rate (6.6. percent), are ninth in innings per start (5.42), and rank sixth in quality starts (49).

Game info

  • Teams: Dodgers (82-36) vs. Marlins (52-67)
  • Pitchers: Dustin May vs. Braxton Garrett
  • Location: Dodger Stadium
  • Time: 6:10 p.m. PT
  • TV: SportsNet LA