The Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation has taken quite the hit over the last week as they learned two starting pitchers will be unavailable through at the least the first month of the regular season.
In what was becoming increasingly obvious, Hyun-Jin Ryu conceded he will not be part of the starting rotation come Opening Day — April 4 for the Dodgers in San Diego. More recently, Ryu has been unable to throw since Feb. 26 due to discomfort in his surgically repaired left shoulder.
The Dodgers have maintained the left-hander has not suffered a setback, though general manager Farhan Zaidi indicated Ryu’s targeted mid-May return date is far from guaranteed.
In an expected development — perhaps expected to some given previous history — Brett Anderson underwent arthroscopic surgery for a bulging disk in his back. The back surgery is the second of Anderson’s career.
Although the 28 year old is often referred to as injury prone, Zaidi said the odds of a second back surgery being required at any point was less than 10 percent. While Dodgers’ pitching depth has been quickly depleted, Zaidi expressed confidence in the club’s internal options to fill the void, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
GM Zaidi on whether #Dodgers look to trade for SP now: "We feel good about our options so we’re not on the phones or anything like that"
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 3, 2016
Brandon Beachy, Mike Bolsinger and Zach Lee are the primary candidates to become the Dodgers’ fifth starter. Los Angeles could also turn to either of their young prospects, Jose De Leon or Julio Urias.
The domino effect elevates Alex Wood from potentially being sent to the bullpen to now serving as the fourth starter. With the Dodgers rotation in shambles last season, Bolsinger was called on for 21 starts.
He finished the year 6-6 with a 3.62 ERA, 3.91 FIP and 1.36 WHIP. Bolsinger struggled in the latter stages of 2015 as fatigue became an issue. Beachy, who has undergone two Tommy John surgeries, was limited to just two starts with the Dodgers.
The were largely underwhelming, but he has 48 career Major-League starts under his belt. Lee struggled in his Major-League debut last season, allowing seven runs in 11 hits in 4.2 innings.