The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the All-Star Break on a strong note, overtaking the Arizona Diamondbacks for sole possession of first place in the National League West.
The club has been on a roll since the middle of May, posting an NL-best 37-17 record over their last 54 games. That stretch helped Los Angeles overcome a nine-game deficit to Arizona in the standings at the beginning of May.
Not coincidentally, the Dodgers have progressively improved with the returns of key players off the disabled list. That particularly holds true in the starting rotation, where the club at one point saw four-fifths of its Opening Day starting rotation sidelined with respective injuries.
The injury woes ultimately paved the way for the emergences of Walker Buehler and Ross Stripling, who have certainly pitched well enough to stick around in the Dodgers’ starting plans going forward.
Now with the starting rotation close to full health, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts admitted that some pitchers will have to forgo opportunities in the second half for the betterment of the team, via Kaelen Jones of MLB.com:
“We’re obviously very confident with our rotation,” Roberts said. “I think there has to be a little bit of — I don’t know if it’s necessarily roster manipulation — but understanding that you have six guys right now essentially healthy [and] another guy in Hyun-Jin Ryu coming back. So there’s gotta be opportunity for different guys. How we do this as an organization and figure it out, there’s gonna have to be some sacrifices from everyone.”
With six healthy starting pitchers back in the fold, the Dodgers could opt to deploy a six-man rotation for the time being immediately following the All-Star Break.
Former top pitching prospect Julio Urias is also said to be a little over a month away from rejoining the club and offers another potential option in the starting rotation down the road.
Likewise, left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is expected to return at some point in the second half as well. He recently threw a 25-pitch bullpen session and came away feeling healthy after clearing the first hurdle in returning to game action.
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