When looking at the Dodgers starting rotation from opening day, Clayton Kershaw is the only remaining member that will be on the postseason roster.
This is a dreadful look for a team that is nearing the finish line on clinching their 10th division title in the past 11 years.
Aside from Kershaw, the rest of the rotation faces many question marks. Who is going to supplement Kershaw, let alone, be the ace of the rotation in the postseason? Will Lance Lynn miraculously morph back into the dominant version of himself in his first four starts as a Dodger? Will the Dodgers even have a starter who can pitch seven effective innings without imploding against some of the NL’s better lineups in October?
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes a column that questions whether or not the rotation can perform well in the postseason, and if the bullpen will have to anchor the pitching staff through the postseason.
Aside from Kershaw and Lynn, Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot, two rookies with limited experience at the big league level, are possible fill-ins to throw meaningful innings for the Dodgers come October.
Pepiot has looked fantastic this season, albeit in a very limited sample size, and Miller has been a consistent arm in his 18 starts, despite having allowed four or more earned runs in three of his past four starts.
Juan Toribio of MLB.com breaks down the chances of Miller and Pepiot being included as options for the rotation in the postseason, while also noting how swingman Ryan Yarbrough could be used as a back-end starter or an opener, and other unproven rookies who could be added:
“Other young pitchers like Gavin Stone, Emmet Sheehan and Michael Grove will be evaluated over the next 19 games as the Dodgers weigh each and every option.”
There are just 18 games left in the regular season, and Mookie Betts is continuing to do Mookie Betts things. Betts on Monday connected on his 48th career leadoff home run, which now places him tied for fifth all time (tied with Ian Kinsler) within that category, and has tied longtime Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon for the most RBI out of the leadoff spot at 103.
Sarah Wexler of MLB.com has more on the accomplishments and records Betts has reached this year, and weighs in on how his knack for igniting the offense early sets the tone for the team for the rest of the game:
“It’s not just Mookie, but certainly, he’s a guy that jump-starts us,” said Roberts. “And when he’s swinging the bat, impacting the game like he is, it certainly creates opportunities for everybody else...”
Yoshinobu Yamamoto is set to become the next Japanese superstar coming to Major League Baseball next season. In 21 games between the Japanese Pacific and Winter Leagues, the 25-year-old has a 15-5 record with a commanding 1.20 ERA with 152 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 150 innings this season. He played a key role in Team Japan’s victory in this year’s World Baseball Classic, as he led the entire team in strikeouts with a 2.45 ERA in 7⅓ innings.
Several teams have inquired about the right-hander, such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Cubs, and Dodgers, according to Rob Friedman of Fox Sports.
Doug Padilla of the Orange County Register writes about Kershaw’s recent bullpen session and return to the rotation this weekend against the Seattle Mariners, and how Kershaw will likely be used as the regular season winds down.
Steve Garvey was named the no. 15 best Dodger of all time by Houston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times in the latest edition of Dodgers Dugout.