Dodgers Roundtable: Who Should Fill Brett Anderson’s Spot In Starting Rotation?
Dodgers Top Prospects Entering 2016 Season: Cody Bellinger Rounds Out Top 5
Jon SooHoo-Los Angeles Dodgers

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Once projected to be a strength for the Los Angeles Dodgers, their depth in the starting rotation has quickly transformed from safety net to necessity within one week’s time.

The Dodgers were already aware they’d begin the 2016 season without the services of Brandon McCarthy, but the list of unavailable starting pitchers come Opening Day has grown since camp opened.

Hyun-Jin Ryu conceded last week he’s unlikely to return until some point in May, which is a target date that’s far from set in stone.

Ryu hasn’t thrown since Feb. 26 as he’s suffering from discomfort in his surgically-repaired left shoulder.

Then on Thursday, the Dodgers learned Brett Anderson will miss three to five months after undergoing back surgery.

The losses moved Alex Wood from potentially being on the outside looking in to now factoring heavily into the Dodgers’ rotation for at least the first month of the regular season. However, that still leaves Los Angeles in need of a fifth starter.

They used a total of 16 starting pitchers last season — most in the Majors — and return much of same group who was called on. While the Dodgers will spend the next month evaluating their options, the staff shared who they believe should be the fifth starter come April 4.

Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015)

Under the assumption the Dodgers are primarily considering Brandon Beachy, Mike Bolsinger and Zach Lee, my nod goes to Lee.

His time with the Dodgers organization has been far from stellar since they selected him No. 28 overall in the 2010 draft, but I don’t believe Beachy or Bolsinger are far superior options. Beachy remains an unknown and Bolsinger often found himself in trouble when his curveball wasn’t sharp.

Lee’s Major-League debut last season was a horrendous outing, but it was also one filled with a few bad breaks. He showed improvement with Triple-A Oklahoma City and may be able to translate that to the Majors in a brief stint.

A caveat to my decision would be if Jose De Leon replicates the performance he had on Saturday in two innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Daniel Starkand (@DStarkand)

Obviously, we’re only a few days into the Cactus League schedule and getting to see the various options pitch in actual games. But, depending on how the spring goes, I would like to see one of the young prospects, Leon or Julio Urias earn that role by having a good showing.

With Ryu aiming for a return in May, whoever is named the fifth starter conceivably could only be needed for as little as five or six starts. I believe it would be a perfect taste of the Majors for one of the two young prospects, and if they don’t particularly do well then it would serve as a learning experience.

CONTINUE READING: Making The Case For Mike Bolsinger, Sign Tim Lincecum?