Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Dodgers rotation, roster needs
By Jason A. Churchill
It's clear the Los Angeles Dodgers have a surplus of starting pitching right now, in theory, but it appears the club is planning to make sure they are covered before making any trades to clear out the so-called clutter.
Part of the depth includes right-hander Chad Billingsley, who was once a frontline arm. Billingsley is attempting to stave off elbow surgery, reportedly hitting 94 mph in a November throwing session. Furthermore, general manager Ned Colletti has no plans to use Hyun-Jin Ryu, one of the Dodgers' two starting pitching additions this offseason, in relief.
Add to that the return of Ted Lilly and the addition of Zack Greinke on a long-term contract and the Dodgers are laced with starting pitching. Aaron Harang, ace Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett and Chris Capuano complete the octad. Considering the apparent plan for the Dodgers to start camp with all of the above, any potential trades of Capuano, Harang or Lilly are certainly not imminent.
Los Angeles has a strong roster, but if they ultimately seek to shore up some areas by trading from their starting pitching abundance, the bullpen and the bench are about the only areas of potential concern, and even the relief corps appears to be a strong unit. They may not be the west coast's Washington Nationals just yet, but the Dodgers are the clear favorites, based on talent, in the National League West and have the ammo in starting pitching and a few key prospects to continue to get better.
Jim Bowden of The GM's Office ranks the Dodgers' offseason among the best in baseball:
Jim BowdenThe Dodgers had a strong winter
"Owner Magic Johnson made it clear in his expectations that anything short of a World Series in 2013 will be considered a failure. The Dodgers improved their chances, adding Greinke and Hyun-Jin to a starting rotation that already boasted Clayton Kershaw. The bench and bullpen also now have added depth with Schumaker and League. These moves, coupled with the Dodgers' blockbuster trade with the Red Sox in July, have put them in position to pass the Giants or secure one of the two wild-card berths."