Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris
Tuesday, left-handed Tyler Anderson reportedly signed a three-year $39 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. This signing leaves the Los Angeles Dodgers scrambling for starting pitchers for the 2023 season.
If Opening Day were today, the Dodger starting rotation would look like Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw (reportedly has re-signed), Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, and an unknown rookie. This rotation is ordinary for the Major Leagues, but the Dodgers must win a full-season world championship.
Over the last two years, Urías has pitched many innings and excelled. He is a finalist for the National League Cy Young Award. As a rookie after making a splash, Urías had a major shoulder injury. After hurling a lot, he might miss significant time with an arm injury during the 2023 season.
Last Friday, Kershaw reportedly signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers, but the team has not announced the signing. At 35 next March, Kershaw is still a Hall-of-Fame-caliber left-hander. He can strike out many, and with the shift being banned, Major-League teams prized strikeouts over soft contact. While Kershaw is an outstanding starter, he will spend time on the IL with back problems. When Kershaw misses time, the Dodgers can trial their Triple-A pitchers in their rotation.
Dustin May should pitch a full season as a starter, but he is essentially a rookie. Another year removed from Tommy John surgery, May is still learning how to pitch on the Major-League level. May has unbelievable quality pitches, but he must locate his pitches within the strike zone. May must trust his stuff to be successful.
Health questions are surrounding Gonsolin. The 2022 season was a breakout season for a talented right-hander. He was an All-Star in his career since he dominated the opposition. Gonsolin had 16 wins and 1 loss with a 2.14 ERA. In late August, Gonsolin suffered a strained elbow. Throwing a split-fingered fastball puts incredible stress on the elbow, and this is why pitchers stopped throwing split-finger after the 1990s. Without a split-finger, Gonsolin does not have Major-League level pitch selection. Gonsolin returned from the IL during the last weekend of the 2022 season against the Colorado Rockies. In the starts against either the Rockies or the San Diego Padres, Gonsolin did not look healthy.
The off-season might help Gonsolin, but I think Gonsolin will need Tommy John surgery sometime during the 2023 season. The Dodgers will need five reserve starters for in case of an injury and an established fifth starter. The Dodgers want to reset their luxury tax threshold by keeping their payroll to $235 million, but Dodger fans expect their favorite team to have a quality starting rotation. Team President Andrew Friedman has a choice of either signing a free agent or trading for an established starter. Dodger fans would be thrilled if they would sign either Justin Verlander or Jason deGrom.
Tuesday, November 15, 2022