After carrying an MLB-best 2.80 ERA and 1.05 WHIP among their starting pitchers during the 2022 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers know the rotation is perhaps the most important pillar for sustainable success.
Dodgers starting pitching was a strength despite Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin, Andrew Heaney and Clayton Kershaw each spending time on the 15-day injured list. Kershaw missed significant time because of back injuries, and Buehler was lost for the season because of needing a right flexor tendon repair and a second Tommy John surgery.
Although L.A.’s offseason to-do list includes filling a shortstop vacancy, adding starting pitching has been made as an evident area of focus by president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
How high up the agenda is for the #Dodgers to get starting pitching this winter?
"Very," Andrew Friedman said.
— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) November 9, 2022
Between Heaney and Anderson, the lefties combined to make 42 starts for Los Angeles this year.
Although the Dodgers starting pitchers displayed league-leading numbers, including a .255 batting average on balls in play, injuries played a part down to the stretch to the team’s staff, likely leading to Friedman’s sense of urgency.
Dodgers pitching prospects
In addition to pursuing starting pitchers in free agency, Los Angeles has plenty of talent waiting for their call-up.
Totaling seven starts at the big league level in 2022, Ryan Pepiot served as a solid spot-starter for the Dodgers. Across his outings, Pepiot delivered a 3.47 ERA across 36.1 innings.
In 17 starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City, he posted a 2.56 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 91.1 innings pitched.
In addition to Pepiot, 2020 first-round draft pick Bobby Miller also could find his way into the 2023 Dodgers rotation.
Miller carried a 4.25 ERA in 23 starts with both Double-A Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Highlighted by four starts with the OKC Dodgers, he posted a 3.38 ERA.
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