Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022
The Los Angeles Dodgers shook up their front office. For the first time since 2018 when their general manager Farhan Zaidi left for the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers have a general manager. They promoted their director of player development Brandon Gomes to general manager.
Gomes, 37, is a retired pitcher. When team president Andrew Friedman was the general manager of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010, he acquired Gomes. As soon as Gomes retired, he joined the Dodger front office.
Although the Dodgers reached the 2021 NLCS where they lost to the eventual world champions Atlanta Braves, Gomes inherits a mess. The Dodgers need to rebuild their starting rotation. While earlier in the offseason, Friedman acquired Andrew Heaney, a veteran left-handed pitcher, the Dodgers only have two quality starters – Walker Buehler and Julio Urías. Yes, at some point during the 2022 season, Dustin May will return to the active roster, but since he probably will not have time to build sufficient arm strength as a starter, May will return as a reliever.
Coming off a nightmarish 2021 season since he battled shoulder inflammation, Tony Gonsolin should not be counted upon to start every fifth day. The Dodgers do not seem to know what caused Gonsolin’s inflamed shoulder, so the problem can return at any time during the 2022 season.
The Dodgers have both Andre Jackson and Mitch White, potential rookies, who appear to be ready for the Major Leagues, but it is a rarity for a team World Series bound to have two rookie starters. At some point during this upcoming season, both Jackson and White will make some kind of an impact, but they should not be starting every fifth day.
While the Dodgers still have left-handed David Price, he, 36, is not a Major-League starter anymore. Earlier in his career, he was a dominating power starter with a great spike curveball, but he has struggled with the loss of velocity. Price should be a Dodger long reliever this upcoming season.
While many Dodger fans want the Dodgers to re-sign Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers cannot rely on Kershaw making 30 starts a year. He has a long history of injuries, and the latest is his forearm.
The Dodger bullpen is in decent shape, particularly if they can re-sign Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly. Before the lockout, Friedman signed Daniel Hudson, further strengthening the bullpen. So far, the bullpen is the strength of the team.
With Corey Seager going to the Texas Rangers and the uncertainty surrounding Max Muncy, who tore his UCL on the last day of the 2021 regular season, the Dodger offense needs to be improving. Even last season, the Dodger offense was inconsistent. The Dodgers seem to need an everyday second baseman to strengthen both their offense and defense. Since Justin Turner has lost a step at third base, he needs to be the DH if the National League adopts the rule.
Many problems face Gomes since the Dodgers want to return to the World Series. Time will tell if the new Dodger general manager is up to the task.