Heading Into The Playoffs, The Rotation Is In Good Shape

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers rotation has been a jumble of arms since Brandon McCarthy was shut down in late April. Since then, Los Angeles has used twelve starters other than Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Brett Anderson. While the rotation has not been in shambles, the frustration regarding the “other two” pitchers in the rotation has been lamented ad nauseam. With the playoffs in the Dodgers sights, fans are wondering what the front office’s plans are for the rotation. However, it may come as a surprise to know that the “other two” are not in as bad of shape as fans may think.

When looking at who the Dodgers have used as a starter, we can see that, as a whole, the pitchers they’ve used as the “other two” have performed around league average.

Dodgers (Min. 20 IP; Not Incl. Kershaw, Greinke, Anderson) 4.15 3.95 1.43 17.3% 8.7% 8.6% 4.10
League Avg. 4.07 4.00 1.30 19.6% 7.2% 12.5% 3.92

Minus Brandon McCarthy, the pitchers included in these numbers are Mike Bolsinger, Alex Wood, Carlos Frias, and Mat Latos.

It is not a stretch to surmise who is likely to make the playoff rotation. Carlos Frias last pitched in Triple-A Oklahoma City before landing on the 60-day DL with back tightness. The likelihood of him making the playoff roster is slim. The same is true for Mat Latos, albeit for different reasons.

The Marlins traded Latos to the Dodgers on July 29th and he did not make his first start with his new club until August 2nd. From the start of the season until his move to LA, Latos posted a 4.48 ERA, 3.42 FIP, and 3.69 xFIP – all unimpressive numbers. Despite posting some of the worst stats of his career, Friedman and company banked on his upside when bringing him on board. Unfortunately, Latos’ numbers took a nosedive. Since arriving in Los Angeles, Latos is posting a 6.56 ERA, 3.66 FIP, and 3.74 xFIP.

If we remove Frias and Latos from the “other two” pitcher stats, we’re left with only Bolsinger and Wood. Here is how their numbers look.

Bolsinger & Wood 3.56 3.78 1.35 19.8% 9.5% 10.3% 2.96
League Avg. 4.07 4.00 1.30 19.6% 7.2% 12.5% 3.92

In terms of additions to the playoff rotation, the reality is that the Dodgers options are Bolsinger and Wood. Despite what fans think, these two hurlers are either performing better than or around league average. No ballclub could ask any more from the back end of their rotation.

Indeed, the recent addition of Latos has not done the team any favors; however he has been relegated to the bullpen and, given his shitty attitude overall, probably won’t see postseason action from the mound in any capacity. The Dodgers rotation, as it stands and going forward, is not in dire straights. In fact, it never has been.


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