The Los Angeles Dodgers focused on adding pitching depth this past offseason as injuries to Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu left the team scrambling to fill the void left. Los Angeles relied on inexperience pitchers such as Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias, who provided some aid, but were inconsistent.
In effort to avoid a repeat situation in 2016, the Dodgers signed Scott Kazmir and Japanese righty Kenta Maeda, as well as re-signed Brett Anderson, who accepted the team’s qualifying offer, and Brandon Beachy.
Additionally, the Dodgers’ pitching prospects figure to be in better position to contribute after gaining another season of experience in the Minors.
The organization’s depth is already proving necessary as Anderson is expected to miss three to five months after undergoing surgery on a bulging disk in his back.
Plus, Ryu conceded last week he will not be recovered from shoulder surgery in time for Opening Day and is instead targeting a return at some point in May.
While that may still hold true, the left-hander has been saddled in recent days by shoulder discomfort that’s prevented him from throwing. Though, the Dodgers maintain the situation should not be viewed as a setback in Ryu’s recovery.
As for the hope Ryu will return in May, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said a specific date isn’t set and touched on the difficulty in determining one, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
“There isn’t a strict timeline or a specific target date. He’s coming off a pretty serious surgery obviously,” Zaidi said. “Until a guy is facing live hitters in a game it’s hard to say a specific date.”
In opening the season without Anderson and Ryu, it places Alex Wood in the rotation, barring injury or a surprising turn of events. After that, it’s currently a toss up for the fifth spot between the likes of Beachy, Bolsinger, Zach Lee and potentially young prospects.
Lee is scheduled to start Sunday against the San Francisco Giants, which is the game Anderson was originally slated for.