Happy Friday. Today’s Leading Off with True Blue LA podcast is a mailbag episode, covering various Dodgers topics.
Thank you for sending in your questions.
I touched on which of the six starting pitchers would be active in October, and how to sort out the relief pitching, including the various pitchers currently on rehab assignments.
As an aside, I realized after recording that I didn’t answer CLT Dodger’s query — Is this the most stacked set of pitchers from 1 to 14 that the Dodgers have ever rostered to finish a season? — so here that is, in written form.
My first instinct was to pick the 2017 team, because they were so perfectly setup with the actual pitchers that would be used regularly. Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Yu Darvish, and Alex Wood were starting, and the most-used relievers were Kenley Jansen, Brandon Morrow, Kenta Maeda, Tony Cingrani, and Tony Watson, plus Ross Stripling.
The teams in 2019 and 2020 were also quite stacked. Think about this — the Dodgers were a 106-win team that lost two starting pitchers who would finish second and third in American League Cy Young Award voting and still won the World Series handily.
The reason I might not pick 2019 or 2020 is because Kenley Jansen entered the postseason with a tenuous grasp on the closer’s role, and was avoided in key situations in October. Craig Kimbrel is in that spot now, so whether he improves over the next six weeks will vault this year’s postseason pitching staff into the top spot, if they aren’t already there.
Other questions on the podcast were roster related, like the timing of Max Muncy’s contract extension, Justin Turner’s pending $16 million club option for 2023, and the plan for Miguel Vargas next season.
Episode link (time: 18:58)